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.
WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS BOOK BEFORE? NO, REALLY, WHY? AND LET ME DO YOU A FAVOR, AND BY YOU I MEAN YOU WHO HASN’T READ THE BOOK AND COMPLAIN ABOUT LACK OF FUN FANTASIES; LET ME CONVINCE YOU.
(There’s a catch: You’ll have to work harder than I will. Suspend your beliefs/tiredness for a while, let go of that cynicism and jadedness, fool yourself into believing that you want this. Because deep down inside, you do-I do know because I have x-ray eyes. And then gimme the credit, gettit?)
Frankly, I only read Death Sworn because I requested the second book in a fit of whimsy and was approved (gasp! how can be? harpercollins and I get along rarely.) perhaps by accident, which is what is suspect of pretty much every book I am granted access to by pretty much every publisher but! if there’s one thing I know, it’s to not look a free book in the mouth. (A way around: complain about it in Goodreads.)
In any case, it turned out to be cooler than I expected because it simply, outrightly lacked in “TEH MELODRAMA.” No romantic confusion, illusion, delusion. No identity crisis or spontaneous berserk-sion after beloved betrays/dies. Only controlled kind I saw coming a long way and that too, for the character’s own self.
Our protagonist wasn’t the sharpest or most distinct or fatal blade in the armory, yet good enough to grace a chocolate-apple cake, sans cream and extra chocolate. Because that’s (in reference to the cake) precisely how this book felt to me: good enough while it lasted and for a while, there shall be craving for moremoremore but soon enough, I will only reminisce it fondly. But back to Ileni: she didn’t bore, nor caused temporary nerve damage to my eyes and delicate sensibilities, carefully attuned to picking away in a bio-hazard suit bullshit that doesn’t suit me specifically. Most importantly, her character didn’t follow that set of secret rules authors are ascribed for characters, when they can’t think up any original enough. Not to exaggerate, however-she was predictable at times, and frustrating. But she was also entertaining and lashed out often enough, so it was fun, and I also spied within that a liar of need and opportunity.
The best part about her was that she makes many cowardly or untoward-ly choices that many YA heroines are afraid to make because it’s oh-so-noble to fall for your romantic interest’s logic, truth etc or alternately, restrict yourself or make sacrifices. Blah, not her. She’ll get over it all. BECAUSE SHE HAS A BRAIN THAT FUNCTIONS WITH SELF-PRESERVATION AT THE FOREFRONT, so you know, more realistic in evolutionary terms and blah.
Thankfully the “dalliance” starts much later in the story and was not an outright love. I said outright-don’t be fooled. The L word does make an appearance. WHY OH WHY OH WHY OH WHY OH WHY. But their dynamic still retains its layers, him being an assassin murdering innocents and her valuing lives of everyone not named Ileni. I didn’t fall for it, but they did and someone on this side of the world didn’t give two shits-duh I didn’t encourage it because whoa there, Buster, slow down. You have the right girl, wrong impression.
All in all, I would care if they died only to the extent that no more story! adventure end! me have no fun! Otherwise, jump over cliff, fall onto the poisoned tip, by all your means, go fucking die, just make it interesting for me or else my chariot awaits, and THEN you won’t even get an audience, so death wasted.
The magical setting we go a-romping was sadly vair vair lacking, which is my sorest complain of the book. It was built up to be fodder for the gray matter and imagination, but my curiosity morphed into a cactus, standing on end for long and being starved of any kind of juiciness. No world building, or history besides a few lines as part of introduction to a class in a fucking monologue, or mapping or explanations and whatever else cartographers among you can think of. Whoa, this is getting to be a longer review than I expected. Though, in all fairness, I hadn’t thought beyond the rating.
Les conspiracies weaving all around made little sense in terms of rationality to me, but la intrigue was too err… intriguing for me to resent. It wasn’t the finely honed dance performance I expected; more like, jerking and prancing and skipping and stumbling(mostly). Another aspect I didn’t resent, maybe because it reminded me of myself? Who knows?
I hope your minds were turned off, and in your state of zombie-ness, you read my review and ordered Death Sworn. Oooh! Fingers crossed! Me, I have plans too: reading Death Marked too soon-even though it will mean the end of the story-on my computer because no Kindle transference going on until WiFi fixed, until my mother comes in try out her harpy ways on me.
This was pure entertainment. And this is the most fun I’ve had writing reviews recently.
See ya soon!