Review // Death Sworn

1:26 PM


I have been wanting to read this forever, EVEN HAD IT ON MY KINDLE, and just now read it. I feel so bad because this book was pretty friggin good. 

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. 


I gotta tell you, the expectations for a book about assassins who live in caves and that also includes some magic are very high. It didn't fail me.

I liked it a lot. 

The premise itself is pretty unique. How many books have you heard of that are based around a society of assassins who have a home base underground in a complicated cave system? I haven't heard of any others and it's SUPER COOL. 

Also, assassin power plus sorcerer power? Yes, please. 

That, and the fact that the reader is just dropped abruptly into a story that's already in process without any explanation. There weren't any wordy explanations or paragraphs-long backstory. I had to piece Ileni's background story together as I was trying to understand the story happening right then. It's a method that could be easily messed up but I feel like the author did a great job with it. 

The plot was super intricate, intertwined, complex.... everybody was connected to everybody was connected to everything. There were so many connections that I didn't see coming that blew my mind. 

I loved the way the assassin characters were written too. The author made them seem human and yet have a big part of themselves that wasn't. Moments when they were the remorseless, soulless people you would expect them to be. It was scary to see that in them but done so well. 

Lastly, Ileni was a fantastic main character. She was bold and brave, yet human. She was still a little snooty from her sorcerer days and yet open to learning new things. She was smart and reacted to her situation like I imagine any sane person would--trying to predict if bad things would happen and being prepared if they did. (Which, is it just me, or is that completely lacking in so many YA books. JUST BE SMART CHILDREN.)

It was refreshing. 

OH. I almost forgot. Can we celebrate the fact that the love interest is actually younger than Ileni??? This never happens. It needs to happen more because diversity is realistic. And it needs to happen.

I rest my case. 


I'm going to be slightly repetitive. I'm going to say it again. Honestly, the romance. 

I did like it overall, don't get me wrong. I liked both of the characters involved. I don't know how it could've be improved but it had so many elements of romances that have already been done. Hot and heavy isn't my thing and it's been done so many times that honestly I'm a little tired of it. 

And did I say Ileni was smart? She was in every instance EXCEPT THE ROMANCE.

She paid way too much attention to the love interest and way too little attention to her assassin students (being multiple you see) which was completely not smart in her situation. Because you know assassins are dangerous. 

That brings me to the point that: the whole reason this book starts is because Ileni's been sent to teach young assassins magic. So why isn't there more focus on the actual students and the teaching of them?? I was looking forward to those scenes so much and they didn't even happen that much. I feel like it was neglected and shouldn't have been. 

(I really liked it)

Disclaimer: I was not reimbursed for this review in any way. All opinions or thoughts expressed are my own. 

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