Tag Archives: high fantasy

Review: Death Sworn by Leah Cypess

Review17772-grey-divider-no-background-hiDeath Sworn

by Leah Cypess

Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy

Series: Death Sworn #1

Source: Won from Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy. (Thank you!)

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.

book thoughts

YES to YA High Fantasy! I loved the setting of the Assassin’s Caves. It was cut off from the wider world, so the world-building happened slowly but surely and kept me curious. The author didn’t have a lot to work with for rich setting descriptions, but she still managed to draw me into the world, and the language was always vibrant. I absolutely loved the magic system! Utterly unique and enthralling, but still authentically high fantasy.

“She was only seventeen, but already she felt as ancient as the stones around her.”

First of all, Illeni is about the cutest name ever. I really felt for her character. She fell so far. The author portrayed her almost fatalistic view of her life excellently. I know I relate, and that many young adults will. The assassins were a bit more difficult. They were essentially brainwashed. It was hard to understand them (I’m just as much a pacifist as Illeni starts out), so I found it very difficult to relate. Still, I felt for Sorin, who never asked to be an assassin, but had no other opportunity to even survive.

I’m not really a fan of the fairly modern “Oh, I can’t admit I love you because that might lead to labels, or feelings, or even a relationship! Gasp.” type of ” romance”. Love should be the greatest experience we can have – don’t treat it like a burden or something to  just fool around with. However, with these characters I must admit it made sense. They were both expecting to die soon, or at least had been conditioned to think their lives were not their own. Sorin was sweet and charmingly inexperienced, which I always appreciate. Illeni was a bit cold, but she mostly warmed up. Mostly. Her view of the relationship is half the reason I only gave four stars. She says she loves him, then says she can get over it. Sounds like she doesn’t really love him, then, doesn’t it? Or doesn’t understand the concept. Urgh. So frustrating.

The other reason I took off a star is the violence. Maybe I shouldn’t have read a book about assassins if I didn’t want violence, but it was more the attitude toward it. I get that the assassins are brainwashed into violence, that they’re fighting an evil empire, etc., but what really bothered me was how quick Illeni was  to dismiss her morals and decide killing was “easy”. It just didn’t sit right with me. I did like her last decision, which seemed more in line with her principles, and I have hope that she’ll really take a stand against the violence and conditioning in the next book, and that the romance will actually be a bit more, you know, romantic. Overall, I enjoyed the story and recommend it.

4paperhearts

 


Grabby Paws: The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy #2) by Sherry Thomas

Grabby Paws

“Grabby Paws” is my version of the Waiting on Wednesday meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that I can’t wait to get my paws on. 🙂

Today I have grabby paws for…

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After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in. Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother’s prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.

Why I have grabby paws…

Yay YA Fantasy! And look at that cover! I love Iolanthe and Titus’ names. Also, it releases on my mom’s birthday, which is cool. 🙂

Releases September 16th


Grabby Paws: Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Grabby Paws

“Grabby Paws” is my version of the Waiting on Wednesday meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that I can’t wait to get my paws on. 🙂

Today I have grabby paws for…

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The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Why I have grabby paws…

Even though I haven’t started this series yet, I already know I’ll love it. So I want the third book to release already do I can go on a series-binge. The Russian mythology aspect is especially tantalizing. I love exploring new mythologies, and I’m not as familiar with Russian myth as I’d like to be. Plus the author seems like a really cool person.

Releases June 17th


Grabby Paws: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Grabby Paws

“Grabby Paws” is my version of the Waiting on Wednesday meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that I can’t wait to get my paws on. 🙂

Today I have grabby paws for…

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They hear the spirits. They must obey.

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court–one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong comes a captivating new series that blends elements of fantasy and horror with the pulse-pounding action and romance that have earned her a devoted readership worldwide.

Why I have grabby paws…

Yay YA High Fantasy! And I love dark creepy magical forests. And strong bonds between females. And the cover. I’ve never read a Kelley Armstrong before (I know – gasp!) but it looks like I’m about to!

Releases April 8th