Sunday, March 8, 2015

Book Review: Death Marked

Death Marked (Death Sworn, #2)Author: Leah Cypess
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Series: Death Sworn # 2

A young sorceress’s entire life has been shaped to destroy the empire controlling her world. But if everything she knows is a lie, will she even want to fulfill her destiny? The sequel to Death Sworn is just as full of magic and surprising revelations, and will thrill fans of Leigh Bardugo and Robin LaFevers.

At seventeen, Ileni lost her magical power and was exiled to the hidden caves of the assassins. She never thought she would survive long. But she discovered she was always meant to end up, powerless, in the caves as part of an elder sorcerer’s plan to destroy the evil Empire they'd battled so long. Except that Ileni is not an assassin, and she doesn't want to be a weapon. And, after everything, she’s not even sure she knows the truth. Now, at the very heart of the Empire—its academy for sorcerers—the truth is what she seeks. What she finds challenges every belief she holds dear—and it threatens her fledgling romance with the young master of assassins.

Leah Cypess spins an intricate and beautiful conclusion to Ileni's story. In the end, it may not be the epic decisions that bring down an empire, but the small ones that pierce the heart.

The Empire was vast and powerful, but it depended on magic for everything from transportation to communication – and, most importantly, to win its wars, quash its rebellions, and defend itself against the relentless strikes of assassins.

And if he knew she has killed his master, nothing would stop him from killing her.

She had grown up more powerful than any of her people, but when her power had begun to ebb, she had been sent to the assassins to serve as their tutor for the rest of her life. From future leader to useless sacrifice over the course of a few months.

Leah Cypess was a new author to me when I read the first book in this duology, Death Sworn. I bragged about her writing to many of my friends and they quickly went to get a copy of the first book as well. I found this book to be a bit slower than the first; I gave the first book 5 lovely cupcakes, but that is not to say that I did not enjoy it because I still did, just for different reasons than I enjoyed the first book. I do not want to give away a lot of the plot for those of you that have not read the first book, but I will say that the action and adventure is still present, but this time around more of the focus just falls on Ileni’s internal struggle as our heroine. She is left trying to figure out who she is in a world that seems to be falling apart.

What I loved about this book was the surprise ending. While at first I was unsure how to feel about it, upon reflection I am pleased to say that love what the author did. I was pleased that all loose ends were tied up, as I was left with several questions from the first book going into the second. I grew to appreciate Illeni’s character even more, and I know a lot of bloggers seemed to despise her more in this book, but you have to take into account all that she has been through. I recommend this series because it is not your typical fantasy read and the only way you will understand why I feel that way is to go and pick this up for yourself!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Greenwillow Books in exchange for my honest review***

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