Death Sworn is the first of two books in the Death Sworn series. Leah Cypess has created a fantasy world where assassins and Renegai sorcerers live in a peaceful co-existence with the Sorcerers providing magical training to the assassins. The main protagonist of the story is Seventeen year old Ileni.
Ileni is an interesting character albeit a bit unhappy, and not really caring if she lives or dies since her future was radically altered by a twist of fate. At an early age, she was tested to be one of the strongest sorcerers among the Renegai with a bright future. Later testing revealed that she was slowly losing her magical abilities which she can never get back.
Knowing that she's a liability to her people, Ileni travels to the Assassin's Cave where the Master rules with an iron fist and a firm determination to take down the Empire no matter what it takes. Ileni's mission is to not only train the assassin's in magic, but to also find out what happened to her predecessors. For Ileni, living among the assassin's comes with more challenges than she could ever have imagined including finding a possible new love to replace one that she lost and discovering some new strengths within her.
The most talked about secondary character in Death Sworn, is Sorin. Sorin is a dangerous assassin with magical abilities who is put into the position of protecting Ileni from harm. Death Sworn is filled with intrigue, and mystery and an interesting romance, but if you pay attention, you will probably unravel the mystery before Ileni does.
I also found myself wondering if Cypess could have incorporated a bit more background information into the book, including Ileni's relationship with her former boyfriend who we don't meet, or how the Renegai gained their independence from the Empire.
Death Sworn doesn't necessarily end on a cliffhanger, but it does leave the door open for a variety of story directions for Cypess to take with Ileni. I am definitely on the bandwagon to read the next installment.
**I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
Author - Leah Cypess
Title - Death Sworn (Death Sworn # 1)
Publisher - Greenwillow
Published - March 4, 2014
Genre - YA, Fantasy
E-Book - 352 pages