Title: Death Sworn
Author: Leah Cypess
Series: Death Sworn #2
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Rating: 2.5 stars
The Overview: 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.
When I first started Death Sworn, I had some mixed feelings about it. On one hand, the concept (a young sorceress is sent to a secret training facility for assassins where she is supposed to survive long enough to teach them magic) intrigued me because I thought it was a really cool idea for a story. On the other hand, it wasn’t presented quite as well as I was hoping it would be.
For one thing, I was at least 100 pages in before I realized Death Sworn was supposed to be a Young Adult novel. Everything about the writing style up to that point screamed middle grade, but what finally clued me in was the rather more mature subject matter. In any case, it never really fit comfortably in either category.
What started out as a thin plot developed into something I enjoyed reading about. It was a mite more complex than the initial chapters would have you believe. Although this wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, I still found it engaging and a light, fun read. I will most likely be picking up the sequel.
Recommended Reading: This is a difficult one to recommend because of the conflicting subject matter versus writing style (YA or middle grade). I have a difficult time hand selling this one unless the customer already had their eye on it (the gorgeous cover doesn’t hurt).
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