Friday, 7 March 2014

Review: Death Sworn

Death Sworn  (Death Sworn #1)

Publication Date: March 4th, 2014    

~A copy was provided by Greenwillow via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review~



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 had high expectations from Death Sworn, and on one hand, it did deliver, but on the other, it didn't. It's kind of great, but then it's kind of...ugh, I don't even know. I liked it. I kind of loved it. The characters are sarcastic, sadistic, completely moronic and sometimes savage, but there's a huge hole in the world building. Meaning, we don't actually get to see any. There's magic and assassins', and though we do get to see magic, you don't get the assassinations'. There's the fact we get a basic back story on what they are, what they do, the meaning behind the whole mission, but let's be real here. We don't see as much as the outside world, so we don't have much world building. We're set in a cave people, when I say set in a cave, I mean set in a freaking cave for the whole duration of the book. And while that was fun and different and all, because of it made Death Sworn hang in the balance by the characters. All on them.

So, we have the supposed "good" guys.

We also have the supposed "bad" guys.

Then we have these "middle" guys, that forget what you think you know, because A) and B) = blurred lines.

Then we have the Master. The Death Sworn equivalent of Lord Voldemort. Feared, loved, think they know best, ever knowing, all seeing, right Master? (Spoiler) Oh wait, you're dead.(Spoiler)

They don't carry it all that well.

Death Sworn is very much character orientated, they are complex and intense and they gradually grow. Especially Ileni, she goes into the story knowing not if, but when, and at some time, she will die. She's sent to tutor the assassins' as a truce between the Renegai to keep peace among them, not that they actually trust or like each other, they're joined in force of their fear. She's determined to find out who murdered her preceders before she herself is murdered.

The Ileni in the beginning, and the Ileni at the end are two different characters. The first being what she thought she knew, the latter being she knows. She has morals and prescribed idea's of what the assassins' are, and in her credit, she is correct. But, the more she gets to know a certain Sorin, her ideals doesn't change, but she does. She understands, and through her growing love, and when it comes down to it, Ileni see's just what it takes to kill someone in cold blood.

Most importantly: She's not stupid.

Sorin's a hard character to peg, he's the total brooding badass as every other badass book out there, he's cold, and totally whipped as everyone else by the Master, but he's...ugh, I don't even know. So I really shouldn't like him, and I kind of don't. But I kind of do.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the characters okay-ish, but there was just something...not there.

Before I get into the romance, I'd just like to say I wanted to ship it. I did, because firstly, You guys no Insta love, which is fantastic, because it was, it would have severely ruined the believability of the characters. Ileni's a renegai who despise what the Assasins do, and then Sorin is an assassin and they don't like the renegai that much either, so it's safe to say they don't like one another. And hate becomes love, etc etc, but it takes time, and it built up the more they got to see one another and their views changed, or more so Ileni's, whereas Sorin's still apply and just added to love Ileni, but she doesn't change his views, or his mind, on what he does. She doesn't change him, which halle-freaking-lujah. Please, 'Good girl meets bad guy and changes his bad ways' is so cliché and overdone.

And here's comes the 'but', some parts ruined it completely.

Despite the slow-burning romance, once it was out there it did a complete 180 in a matter of the first kiss. And that is 1) Not okay, 2) Annoying, and 3) Why can't it just be normal for a change?

Death Sworn was an intense, although inconsistently flawed on both the magic and assignation side of things. But I really couldn't get passed the cave.

Rating: 3/5