Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess [Joint Review!]

  4 out of 5 Robots!

Death Sworn By Leah Cypess

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Release: March 4, 2014
Hardcover:  344 Pages
Publisher: Greenwillow
My Copy: Library
Reviewer: Shannon & Julia

Book Summary:
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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Julia & Shannon: Joint Review!

1. Quick and dirty on Death Sworn by Leah Cypess!

Shannon:  I actually enjoyed this more than I expected!  It was interesting, tense and had great characters.
Julia: Death Sworn is a pleasant surprise, it is refreshing and the pace is quick. I finished it quickly because the characters were intriguing and the plot was fun to follow.

2. Was the story plot or character driven and did that work for you?

Shannon:  Honestly, it's a little of both.  I wouldn't say the character development is amazing, but the focus of the story is very much on the characters.  It is a relatively small cast of characters, so there is a lot of focus on those characters, particularly on Ileni and Sorin.  But I also can't say that it was completely a character driven story either.  The plot very much drives the story.  Either way, it worked pretty well for me.
Julia: The character development is stunted, so I want to say it is plot driven, but it isn't really. I enjoyed the back and forth of Sorin and Ileana more than the "who did it" plot. And the characters did occasionally surprise me, the plot not so much. The story is a little fluffy. 

3. Were the characters convincing? How about the chemistry between Ileni and Sorin?

Shannon: I liked them!  Well, I liked Illeni, Sorin and to a less extent, Bazel and Irun.  But I wish we got more of the Assassin Master.  For someone purportedly pulling the strings, I never really got a good sense of his character.  I liked the chemistry between Ileni and Sorin, but I do think it could have been a little more developed.
Julia: They are convincing! The only one I didn't, couldn't figure out is Bazel. I wish there was a secondary character to root for in the caves, but since everyone is a frenemy, you don't really have the opportunity to. There is major chemistry between Ileni and Sorin... it propelled the story forward.

4. What did you think about the assassin society?

Shannon:  The assassin society was really interesting.  Weirdly, I was getting kind of a Dauntless vibe off of it.  But on the other hand...I didn't really get it.  I wish the world building was a little more fleshed out.  The different countries (kingdoms? empires?  factions?) were never really explained or who was doing what and why.  But I dunno.  I like assassins, so that didn't bother me too much I guess.
Julia: It fascinated me, but then I'm questioning everything. Like, really these guys don't have bff's down there? And there are only guys? I wanted more of something - explanation? I don't even know. I am easily entertained by assassin societies in novels, so it worked for me anyway.  

5. Is the ending satisfying? Forced? Are we reading the sequel?

Shannon:  The ending was my favorite part!  It was action packed and there were a few minutes where I just wanted to yell "boom!".  I am definitely on board for the sequel.
Julia: The ending had the most action, so definitely satisfying. Not forced. Not a major cliff hanger, but enough to make me jump right into book two. 

6. What would you rate it and who would you recommend it to?
Shannon: I would rate it 4 stars.  I think fantasy fans will enjoy this one. 
Julia: 4 Stars! I was entertained and it is a fun new fantasy world!

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