Author: Leah Cypess.
Expected publication: March 4th 2014 by Greenwillow.
Sort: Part one ‘Death Sworn’
Source: Edelweiss & 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.
Ileni is a brave seventeen-year old girl who is losing her magic. She grew up as a Renegai sorceress, but her powers are starting to get weak and that’s why she is sent to the Assassins cave. Assassins and magicians are living in peace with each other because of a pact: there must always be a Renegai to train the assassins with potential magic powers. The latest two died in strange ways and it’s up to Ileni to find out what happened to them. Sorin grew up as assassin with the Master took him away from the streets. He has blind faith in the Master (the same with all the other assassins) and he will do anything to please him. He is tasked with the protection of Ileni and the two of them research the strange Renegai’s deaths.
I really liked how the story starts. I was immediately hooked by Ileni and her braveness. She is not afraid to die and it was sad to see how she tries to cope with the fact that the Renegai’s are willing to sacrifice her. She left a lover behind and I liked her struggle with her new feelings for Sorin. It was also interesting to see how she deals with the loss of her magical powers. The only thing is, when Sorin and Ileni admit they like each other, she turns into a soppy mess. I just wish she stayed true to herself, like Sorin. It was hard to connect with him. His loyalty is creepy, but also fascinating at the same time. The fact that someone is capable of gaining so much trust is crazy. I didn't like them together. There is something off about their chemistry and I was never swept away by their romance. It didn't felt genuine to me.
There is also the mystery behind the death of two Renegai’s. It adds a certain tension to the story, especially with some of the dangerous assassins who aren’t trying to hide their hate for Ileni. The only thing is, nothing really happens. It’s more character-driven with a hint of mystery and not the action I expect when I think of assassins. It was enjoyable and the ending makes me interesting for more, but don’t expect too much. It's a shame that the cover is prettier than the inside.