I am super excited to be today’s stop on the DEATH MARKED Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. I loved Ileni’s story from the moment I picked up DEATH SWORN and I couldn’t wait to see how things ended in DEATH MARKED.
And it was an awesome, if unexpected, conclusion to the series. And though I would have loved to stay in the world for a few books longer, to see what happened next with a certain character I adored and because I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye, the author was able to wrap up things up nicely in just the two novels.
For my stop today I’m sharing my thoughts about this second book in the series. And I am also sharing an awesome tour-wide giveaway which includes signed copies of all four of Leah Cypess’ novels. So if you’d like to know what I thought about DEATH MARKED or enter the giveaway, or both, just scroll down.
About DEATH MARKED
Title & Series: DEATH MARKED (Death Sworn #2)
Author: Leah Cypess
Release date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
A young sorceress’s entire life has been shaped to destroy the empire controlling her world. But if everything she knows is a lie, will she even want to fulfill her destiny? The sequel to Death Sworn is just as full of magic and surprising revelations, and 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 never thought she would survive long. But she discovered she was always meant to end up, powerless, in the caves as part of an elder sorcerer’s plan to destroy the evil Empire they’d battled so long. Except that Ileni is not an assassin, and she doesn’t want to be a weapon. And, after everything, she’s not even sure she knows the truth. Now, at the very heart of the Empire—its academy for sorcerers—the truth is what she seeks. What she finds challenges every belief she holds dear—and it threatens her fledgling romance with the young master of assassins.
Leah Cypess spins an intricate and beautiful conclusion to Ileni’s story. In the end, it may not be the epic decisions that bring down an empire, but the small ones that pierce the heart.
NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.
DEATH MARKED is the absolutely enthralling, epic and bittersweet end to this two-book series filled with magic, betrayal, heartbreak, unexpected twists and shocking surprises. It will keep readers guessing as to whose side Ileni will choose, who she’ll betray, who is using her and for what purpose, and who will survive. And it will keep them glued to the page until all questions have been answered.
Leah Cypess introduces Ileni to a new world and new characters in this second and final installment in the series. She takes her on a journey from the caves of the assassins to the mountains that house the Academy where the imperial sorcerers train. She puts her in a situation where she must fight against being used as a weapon, try to stay focused on her mission, find a peaceful solution to the conflict between the sorcerers and assassins, and attempt to stop the atrocities committed by the sorcerers to obtain their magic.
She puts her at the mercy of the head of the Academy. She separates her from the one she loves but cannot trust. She tempts her with unlimited stores of magic. And she forces her to choose between her heart and what she believes in.
DEATH MARKED leaves behind the world and most of the characters introduced in the series’ first book. It begins to explore the realm of the sorcerers, though its explorations don’t reach as far as the Empire. As with the first book, the story is largely contained within the walls of those Ileni has managed to infiltrate.
It reveals a world that is as cold and ruthless as that of the assassins, if not more so. And it shows just how similar these enemies really are in their willingness to sacrifice, to kill, to stop at nothing to win. And with its new setting and characters, it feels like a brand new adventure.
Difficult choices must be made – ones that come with a steep price. Realizations must be faced – about weaknesses, flawed beliefs, expectations, and love. Sides will be chosen. Sacrifices will be made. Lives will be lost. And hearts will be broken.
Author Leah Cypess gives readers a heroine who had a lot to learn about the world she lived in and about herself. She allowed her to fail. She allowed her to grow. And she developed her into someone who was strong enough to make a difference.
Fans of the first book should expect a fascinating world, interesting, flawed, likable and detestable characters, awesome abilities, and a gripping story in DEATH MARKED. They should also be prepared to expect the unexpected in this thrilling and heartrending tale.
About Leah Cypess
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).
After selling my first story (Temple of Stone) while in high school, I gave in to my mother’s importuning to be practical and majored in biology at Brooklyn College. I then went to Columbia Law School and practiced law for almost two years at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a large law firm in New York City. I kept writing and submitting in my spare time, and finally, a mere 15 years after my first short story acceptance, I sold my first novel to Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins).
I live in Brookline, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston) with my husband Aaron, a researcher and doctor at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and our three children.
Other Books in the Series
Title & Series: DEATH SWORN (Death Sworn #1)
Author: Leah Cypess
Release date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook
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.
There is a tour-wide giveaway for…
1 Grand Prize Pack of SIGNED copies of all 4 of Leah Cypess’s books: MISTWOOD, NIGHTSPELL, DEATH SWORN and DEATH MARKED + SIGNED SWAG! – US only
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
The Tour Schedule
Feb. 23rd – A Backwards Story – Original Content
Feb. 24th – Crossroad Reviews – Review
Feb. 25th – Fiction Fare – Original Content
Feb. 26th – Reading with ABC – Original Content
Feb. 27th – Si, Se Puede – Review
Mar. 2nd – Fiktshun – Review
Mar. 3rd – Fall Into Books – Original Content
Mar. 4th – J.R.’s Book Reviews – Review
Mar. 5th – Two Chicks on Books – Original Content
Mar. 6th – Mundie Moms – Review