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Death Sworn

(Death Sworn #1)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  7,106 ratings  ·  856 reviews
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 pl
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Greenwillow
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Marisa Yes, I personally found it incredibly unrealistic how two of the characters were simply barely tolerating each other, and suddenly they were in love. …moreYes, I personally found it incredibly unrealistic how two of the characters were simply barely tolerating each other, and suddenly they were in love. :((less)
Corinne Edwards Yes, there will for sure be at least one more
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  7,106 ratings  ·  856 reviews

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Emily May
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
"She might be about to die, but she didn’t have to do it cowering."

3 1/2 stars. I must admit - I didn't really expect to like Death Sworn. I've had my eye on it for a while but many of my GR friends didn't like it, especially with the limited world-building.

And I have to say that it doesn't fit into what I would normally expect from YA fantasy. There are certain elements of the genre that pop up again and again, and we expect them in order to consider the book "good" - kingdom/empire in peri
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Actual rating: 3.5

Finally! A heroine who's got her fucking head on straight!!

Murder. Magic. Mayhem. No insta-love. No love triangle. A cave full of young men, assassins to be, their deadliness defies their age. A young woman on a mission that will likely kill her. An assassin assigned to guard her.

This was a fast read, an enjoyable book that is light on romance, with a realistic, complex heroine who has a fatalistic streak (and who can blame her). This is a fantasy book with elements of magic,
Finally a badass and flawed girl who has her shit together and goes for what she wants without turning into a puddle of chocolate for her mans and just A BOOK THAT DOESN'T HAVE A LOT OF ROMANCE AND ACTUALLY HAS A GOOD AND INTERESTING PLOT??? And scary assassins with lots of death?? bitch??? hell yes.

3.75 stars. It did start out slow, but it got so much better. That ending was so unexpected and this book honestly managed to surprise me EVERY TIME I TURNED THE PAGE. Definitely recommended akrbsor
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Many of the reviews applauded the excellent world building but I really am wondering which world building? There was absolutely no world building. This story entirely takes places in a fucking cave. Was it magical? No! Our TSTL heroine lost 99% of her magic due to reasons unknown and we were expected to accept it like that. Magic apparently can go puff and the biggest sorceress can be cast out and send to her sure death as the new teacher to an assassin school. There is an ominous emperor with d ...more
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Oh wow, this was surprisingly fun! This is definitely an under hyped series. I'm crossing fingers for the next book (full review to come soon..) ...more
Actual rating - A grudging 2.5 stars.

Let's do a fun review today, I thought. So here we go.

Anchor - Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the latest and greatest in magical and assassin-related news, only on Fee Fi Fo FM. Our guests for this evening are Ileni, a bright young lady with no future or magic, Sorin, a dark young man who doesn't want a future and the mysterious Master, who refuses to comment on anything. Welcome, everyone.

Ileni - Erm, thanks.
Sorin - (Smirks.)
Master - Hmmm.

Anchor - Ileni
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤

This was SO good!!!! I am so sad I waited a year after buying it to read it!! Death and peril and an uber protective (overly protective) assassin....what more could a girl ask for???


For more of my reviews, please visit:

Rashika (is tired)
****This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Actual Rating 2.5

Death Sworn was a huge let down. When I first started it, I thought I would fall in love. The fantasy fan in me was fangirling and thought she had discovered a YA gem when it came to fantasy.

The problem with this book stems from the fact that essentially nothing happened. This book could have been condensed to a couple of pages for the amount of things that took place. I feel like this book was a set up for the sequel rat
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review.

I picked this one up because it screamed fantasy. Even that awesomely sounding title had my interest piqued. But what went down was something else. For me, it ended up being too much a romance and not enough of adventure, fantasy where our main characters are at war with another kingdom. That was what I was expecting. I felt like it dragged on and on and on..And I wanted to know why her powers were fading,
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Death Sworn, what the hell happened?


I’m sorry, that’s harsh. You weren’t the worst and at a few points I really did almost enjoy myself, but the fact remains, you put me to sleep. Four times. Once would have been highly unusual behavior for me, but four? Something’s wrong.

The rest of my review can be found on Cuddlebuggery.
Jacob Proffitt
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm a little torn by this book, but not in the way you might think. It's very, very good on so many levels. The plot is tight with well-planned twists (that still hang together once revealed). The characters are fully realized and have strong motivations with deep undercurrents. And the romance unfolds with a beauty only really possible in contrast to the devastation surrounding it.

We pick up with Ilena in the throes of a crisis of despair. She has lost the thing most important to her—her magica
Nov 03, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. I enjoyed that there was a bit of mystery in this plot. I plan on starting the second book in this duology Death Marked soon.
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Reading DEATH SWORN made me remember the experience, as a teenager, of first discovering Meredith Ann Pierce's DARKANGEL, Robin McKinley's THE BLUE SWORD and Patricia McKillip's THE CHANGELING SEA - in other words, the first YA high fantasies that I fell head over heels in love with, that completely sucked me in and filled me with a sense of magic. I felt the same way all over again as I sank into DEATH SWORN, which is utterly absorbing, eerily romantic, and deeply, deeply magical.

In a reverse o
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
3 1/2 stars. I'm not gonna lie, this was a pretty typical YA fantasy. If you're looking for a rich high fantasy story with heavy world-building then you won't find it here.

Death Sworn has the usual list of tropes—there's the special "chosen" main character, a plot to take down an evil empire, forbidden romance, a strong female protagonist, and a plot twist that happens near the end.

BUT. Even though this book was far from original, it was still super entertaining. And aside from the obvious chees
Kind of hard to rate - definitely between 3 and 4 stars though.

Death Sworn was a pretty interesting book. I won it from a reading challenge and went into this book with zero expectations. I ended up liking the book in the end, but I still feel like it was missing something.

Death Sworn takes place in an underground cave. Sounds cool already right?? You never see the outside world either which of course piqued my interest even more. Then there's Ileni, who was beyond awesome and a completely likab
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 stars
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Original story. The best point was the main female character, Ileni, who's very different from the typical YA fantasy heroine. The romance is very light and kinda cute, but I wasn't that hooked by the rest. The world-building was explained once in like, five sentences? Yes, the story takes place in a cave, but it's not the issue (I personally found it interesting), the issue is that we don't know anything else besides that. The magic system isn't explained either. Basically, it would have been a ...more
'"Pretty, isn't it?" he said. "Didn't the Elders tell you about this?"

"Of course," Ileni said stiffly, letting the magelight vanish.

What they had said, actually, was 'Parts of the caves are very beautiful, but don't let that distract you from the evil within them.''
The good thing about losing everything, is that you've got nothing more to lose.

Ileni had everything - her magic, her society, a future, and even love. And like anyone, she expected those things to be permanent.

Until the day the
Rating 3.5

Ileni is a young sorceress whose powers a waining. Ashamed of her situation she flees as far as possible from her former life. Her Elders send her to tutor(magic) for a secret assassins sect, situated in a system of caves under distant mountains. This job is a life sentence, the termination of the contract in this sect means death, as the last two tutors died a mysterious death. She takes the assignment willingly... she has nothing more to lose.


This was my second reading of Death Sworn
Minni Mouse
I give it five hours and a bathroom break before I forget everything that happened in this book. #blandlyforgettable
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.5 Stars

While a countless number of hidden gems flit under my radar on a weekly basis, I make it a point to hunt out every fantasy novel I can get my hands on. I thrive within the fantasy genre. I’ve grown up breathing the air of thousands of different worlds and I don’t intend to stop – not just yet. Mistwood, Cypess’s debut novel, similarly did not fail to come under my radar when it was first released; an ambitious piece, for a debut, and not without its flaws, but also shining in it
Dark Faerie Tales
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Death Sworn is an unforgettable, engaging novel with a dark tone and an eerie quality about its setting. This is a smooth blend of mystery, romance, and magic that makes for a story that will blow your mind.

Opening Sentence: The first step should have been the hardest.

The Review:

Ileni is a sorceress who had once been extremely powerful, but her magic is fading rapidly. The Elders gave her an assignment, one that she will fit because she is “expe

“How can you know what your life is worth if you don't know what you would trade it for?”

This is one of those books that I don't know how to rate. The ones that I can't really tell how much I liked it. Sure I enjoyed it but how much? I don't know if its a 4 or a 3 or a 3.5. I just don't know! So I'll say 3.5 because it's in the middle.

This is the story of Ileni, a powerless sorceress who is sent to teach magic at a school of assassins. That is right. Assassins. The worst part is tha

This was a very compelling fast paced read, with characters that actually behave according to logic, despite their age. Imagine that.

The only negative point of this story, its the world-building that is actually extremely vague to say the least.
I was left with no idea of the time period in which the story takes place: Yes, I know it is a fantasy tale in which certain people possess magic. But besides that...

There's three factions _lets call them that _ in this world. We have the Empire who
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This and Grave Mercy made me think of the Study series. Anyway, I had taken a break from this and got back to it. One of my favorite parts in this was the growing friendship between the sorceress and the assassin.

You have well, a sorceress whose power is slowly diminishing. She's sent to teach assassins magic. All the while looking into the death of the last tutor before her. What had happened and what will she find and of course will she survive amongst teaching these assassins in the caves?

Natalie (Never trust a duck)
LOVE IT! It was a murder mystery, assassin filled, stubborn love interests book that took place in caves. How much cooler can you get? And Sorin's last line? Killed me. That struck home, my friend. Right in the heart. Can't wait for the sequel!!! ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

After reading this book, I just had to look inside myself and wonder if I’m suffering from YA burnout. But now I’ve gone and painted a negative mood over this review, and that wasn’t really my intention at all! Death Sworn was in fact a pretty good book. I just don’t doubt for a second that I would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn’t already gone through so many young adult novels that displayed similar themes since the
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dark, thrilling, and full of secrets, Death Sworn was an absolutely amazing YA read. I completely and totally loved this book. The world was dark, the romance was lovely, and the story was brilliant. Loved it!

The world building in this book was great. I never felt confused, despite the entirely separate world that was created. It was dark and magical and wonderfully done.

Ileni was a strong heroine. For most of her life, she trained as one of the strongest sorcerers in her society. But, now her m
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-addiction
Original Review found at:

If you suffer from claustrophobia, do not read this book. Why? because 99.7 % of this book is done underground, in caves. Yeah... there were times I was needed to step outside to get my head out of the book and remember I'm not trapped in caves. I would NOT have done well if I was Ileni (the main character), nope.

This book was fun, it has it all, murder, magic, mayhem, political intrigue, no love triangles, plot twists, no insta-lo
Initial Thoughts: 2.5 - 3.0 stars I really liked this at first however I felt that the main character Ileni was very naive and reckless.

The Review:

After a promising start, Death Sworn kind of fizzled for me. Let's start with the beginning: Right away, I was transported to a world of magic and ruthless assassins. Our main character Ileni is sent to the assassin's caves in order to train them in the art of magic. It's basically a death sentence: her predecessors both died mysterious deaths. Ileni
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I wrote my first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies, very impressive).

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“How to throw assassins off balance: cry in front of them.” 17 likes
“Every person we assassinate dies to serve a greater purpose."

"I'm sure they would be happy if they knew it," Ileni said sarcastically, but her voice sounded weak even to her. "If you would explain it to them, perhaps they would volunteer for your knives.”
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