Series: Death Sworn #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Greenwillow (3.4.2014)
ARC, 352 pages
Source: From Publisher
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.
This is a hard review to write, because this book inspired absolutely nothing for me. No emotion, no interest, nothing. Overall, this book was just ‘meh.’ Maybe even less than that. It’s not that I hated it, but I didn’t really like it either. This book was just….there. It won’t leave a lasting impression and I probably won’t remember anything about it a month down the road. Honestly, it was a struggle to finish it.
The characters were flat and I couldn’t connect at all. I couldn’t connect with the story, either. Nothing had much dimension. I didn’t feel as if there was a solid plot, and there was little to no action throughout the majority of the book. I couldn’t find a point to this story.
The world building was awful. We get absolutely NO explanations whatsoever. There are Renegai, Rathians, the mysterious Empire. Who are they? Where are they from? Who knows! There’s no background at all on the society, the countries? (I guess they’re countries) or the races (I’m assuming that’s what they were, anyway). I didn’t really understand Ileni’s mission. She’s sent to be a tutor for this assassin’s guild, which is a death sentence…but why? Why does she have to go? What’s the point? It’s her duty. That’s all we get. Why did she lose her magic? *shrugs* No background on the assassin’s guild, either. The world in Death Sworn was much like being tossed into a large body of water for the first time and being expected to teach yourself how to swim.
I feel as if the story started out much too fast. There was no slow introduction of the love interest, Sorin, either…it was just BAM! he’s there too! Right in the beginning! And I knew as soon as he appeared that they would fall for each other. *rolls eyes* It did move slow, but it wasn’t consistent. They were just…there…for most of the book, barely even friends, then all of the sudden they were kissing. Then they were in love. Um, what? There was no transition at all. There was no inner dialogue from Ileni about being interested in him, or thinking about him romantically; or any building of feelings. It just happened one day.
Also, who the crap is this Tellis person?! I gathered that it was Ileni’s former romantic interest, and they couldn’t be together, but there was NO flashbacks or background story on that despite the fact that he was mentioned constantly.
Would I recommend this? Probably not.
Writing style: 2.5/5
Overall rating: 1.5/5