When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.
But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.
Ileni’s magic is fading. Once, she was said to be the greatest sorceress in all of Renegai, but now she’s looked down on by her people. So when she’s sent to train a bunch of assassins, she accepts, to prove that she’s not worthless. Or be at a place where nobody will pity her. But right now, her problem isn’t just about her magic, because the last two trainers died in the same cave not that long ago. And for all she knows, Ileni could be next.
From page one, we’re thrust into a world of magic, danger, and assassins. DEATH SWORN is a well-written start to a fantasy series that is bound to leave you breathless and begging for more.
Leah Cypess doesn’t start with a slow beginning that fills us in on the details, rather, she masterfully weaves it into the story as we’re pushed along Ileni’s story. The imagery was vivid, the characters dark and mysterious, and the reason behind the deaths kept me guessing through out the book. Of course, I didn’t even suspect who it was and until Ileni figured it out.
Ileni was a character that I fell in love with quickly, because even while suffering under her pain and anger, she defied the norm and wasn’t a depressed weakling that needs others to help her. She’s more of the “get out of my way” type of character who takes matters into her own hands. Of course, when you’re in a cave full of assassins you can’t be soft. Sorin—an assassin tasked with protecting her—was pretty cool too, but I disliked how highly he and all the other assassins thought of their master.
The master. Now he was one mysterious and confusing character that I will never understand. With his endless reasons, hidden agenda, and overflowing knowledge—he’s a character you won’t find in your everyday YA novel. I’ll just leave it at that.
Have I mentioned that there are assassins? That are amazingly awesome? (Yes, I have come to realize awesome is my favorite word.)
If assassins, magic, and sorcery is your thing, Leah Cypess’s latest is for you. It was well-written, kept me hooked throughout, and the whodunnit theme was an added bonus that kept me guessing through out.
And now I shall add another book to my growing list of need-to-read sequels. Happy sigh.
About the Author
I wrote my first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies, very impressive).
However, I took a few detours along the way to becoming a full-time writer. After selling my first story (Temple of Stone) while in high school, I gave in to my mother’s importuning to be practical and majored in biology at Brooklyn College. I then went to Columbia Law School and practiced law for almost two years at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a large law firm in New York City. I kept writing and submitting in my spare time, and finally, a mere 15 years after my first short story acceptance, I am going to be a published novelist. I am very excited about this!
I live in Brookline, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston) with my husband Aaron, a researcher and doctor at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and our two daughters.