Death Sworn (Death Sworn, #1)

001213195-hq-168-80First Lines: The first step should have been the hardest.  The cave entrance angled so sharply that one step was all it took: plunging her from light to darkness, from the fresh scent of snow to the smell of musty earth, from the touch of the breeze to the weight of dank stone.

Funny story.  I’ve gotten to the point where even though I have 500+ books on my to-read list, I’ve more or less memorized all of their covers.  So when I went to the library, I grabbed this without even reading the description…only it wasn’t one of the book on my to-read list.  But I didn’t know that until I’d already started reading it.

Life will never be the same for Ileni ever again.  Losing her magic means she’s lost her place in society, her sense of purpose, and the boy she loves.  Sent from her safe home to tutor a sect of assassins, Ileni goes willingly even though the last two tutors have died under mysterious circumstances.  But the cave isn’t what she expects.  There, she finds a new purpose…and a possible new love.  But danger lurks everywhere.  She has to hide her lack of magic or she could become an easy target.  She needs to discover who killed the other tutors and why.  What should she do when what she learns changes everything she thought she knew?

This book is so far up my alley it’s ridiculous.  Like, it totally should have been on my to-read list ages ago.  Assassins, magic, and mysteries?  Dude.  You had me at assassins.

That sounds a little weird.  That I like assassin stories, I mean.  I think it has something to do with their physical skill, of course, but also with their need for subtlety and cleverness.  That’s the part, I believe, that really draws me in.  And this book definitely had that.

While Ileni isn’t an assassin, she’s totally spunky and interesting.  She’s a sorceress with a death wish.  With her life turned upside down, Ileni can’t find a reason to care about herself anymore.  That kind of attitude makes her interesting to the assassins, who see it as a kind of reckless bravery.  Her blase attitude is just so fascinating.  And she’s definitely got the cleverness I wanted.

The assassins were fascinating as well.  Especially Sorin and Irun.  They don’t always act the way you expect they will and it’s just…interesting.  It kept me on my toes.

The plot of this was equally interesting.  It starts off seeming like a simple mystery: who killed Ileni’s predecessors and why?  But there’s more than that.  There’s politics inside the cave and in the Empire; there’s backstabbing between the assassins, no pun intended.

I was really into this, which was a great surprise.  I’m interested to see how the next book turns out.

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