Death Marked (Death Sworn #2)

Death Marked (Death Sworn #2)
Age Range
Release Date
March 03, 2015
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A young sorceress's entire life has been shaped to destroy the empire controlling her world. She could change history. But everything she thinks she knows is a lie. The sequel to the critically acclaimed Death Sworn 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 trained the assassins in magic—and fell in love with one of them. And she discovered her entire life had been built on a lie. After all of this, she wants to see the truth for herself. She infiltrates the Imperial Academy of Sorcery. She will see everything she despises about the corrupt empire—its thirst for power, merciless control, and careless violence. But she also finds something she never expected—friends, and a place to belong. Ileni no longer knows whose side she is on. Leah Cypess spins an intricate and beautiful conclusion to Death Sworn.

Editor review

1 review
Death Marked
(Updated: February 26, 2015)
Overall rating
Writing Style
One of the best parts of being a Cybils judge has to be having the opportunity to read amazing YAs. One such book DEATH SWORN caught my attention with it's story of a girl raised to topple an Empire and then being forced to live among assassins. When I heard the sequel was out? I had to read it!

What worked: Once again we follow Ileni on her quest to kill the powerful magicians in the Empire. What I really loved had to be the struggle Illeni goes through on infiltrating the so-called enemy and looking for their weakness(in this case the source of the magician's power) and finding out that maybe everything she'd been raised to believe, might be a lie.

Another whole plus is the twists and turns throughout the plot which includes Ilena finding out who in fact might be a friend or someone out to kill her. The betrayals and surprising reveals kept me turning the pages. No, sorry, no spoilers, but let's just say the ending totally took me off guard.

The world building in this series is nothing short of amazing from the claustrophobic underground caves which house assassins, to how the magic is harvested, to the betrayals, and finally to the bustle and secrets of a city in the Empire. Magic bristles everywhere. Everyone thinks they are right in how they either use or avoid magic. There's lots of gray in this world. Nothing is clear cut which adds to the suspense and conflict within Ilena.

The only problem I had was the beginning which was a tad bit slow with Ilena helping two twins that gives a whole new meaning to sibling rivalry. Then when Ilena finds the source of the magic in the Empire? The pace speeds up as does the surprising reveals.

Action packed with a strong protagonist who struggles to find the truth behind her so-called destiny and purpose, along with following the truth of her heart.
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