Title : Death Marked
Author : Leah Cypess
Pages : 400
Published : March 3rd 2015
Publisher : Greenwillow Books
Source : Edelweiss
Purchase : Amazon/ Book Depository/ iTunes
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.
My Thoughts :
I fell in love with this world when I read Death Sworn and this was one of my most highly anticipated books this year. Well I'm glad to say that I loved this one too!!
This is much different than book 1. In book 1, Ileni is underground and part of the assassins but now she is at the opposite end of the spectrum and is in the heart of the Empire in a school for sorcerers.
Ileni really struggles in this book. Everything she is thought about the Empire is put to the test and she doesn't know what, or who to believe or trust. At the start she is a prisoner of sorts but then she is taken to the academy and, while she doesn't have magic of her own anymore, she is told that she can use magic again. Only thing is, she has to use lodestones. This is something she particularly struggles with. All her life she is told how evil the lodestones are but once she feels the magic again she is overjoyed. Thing is, Ileni knows that she needs to learn the truth about where the magic of the lodestones come from. She knows that she needs to fight the Empire but just who is the enemy?
We don't see a lot of Soren in this one, which I didn't like but overall it worked well. Ileni has a lot of thinking to do and figuring out who she can trust. We see a bit from Sorens POV and I would love to know just what he was doing during that time!! How is he coping with being Master? What was he up to while Ileni was in the Empire? What plan has he in place? We do see how he struggles with his feelings for Ileni and how he isn't sure what to do about her. She is his weakness!!
My heart broke for Ileni a lot during the story. She was brought up to believe one thing but when she gets to the Empire, she sees that while there are bad people here who do bad things, not everyone is cut from the same cloth. She has a lot more decisions to make but can she choose the right ones? I also felt annoyed with her at times because her indecision was off putting. I wanted her to be stronger and more assertive.
There are a lot of secondary characters in Death Marked. Evin being the best!! I loved his character, he was friendly and kind. He is the strongest, magic wise, than everyone else and I loved that it didn't go to his head.
There isn't as much action in this one but it was still a quick read. It answers some questions but also gives us a ton more. It is pretty open ended so I do hope there is more in this series because I need to see the conclusion to Ileni and Sorens story but I hope if there is one we see more of Soren!!
Overall I loved this one, despite a few problems, the story was still a quick and suspenseful read. From the intriguing characters to the wonderful writing, Death Marked is a must read.