Death Sworn, I could have sworn that the 5 star rating is almost within your grasp. You could have rendered me on my knees. You could have made me suffer a terrible hangover. But sadly, you let your laziness get the best of you. Let me enumerate the things that I liked and disliked about you, alright?
The things that made my inner bibliophile happy:
1. The Characters- Ileni is a kick-ass heroine despite the fact that her magical powers are almost drained. Her realism and cockiness really made me a happy reader. Not to mention that she definitely know what her purpose in life is and she’s not afraid to achieve it even if it threatens her life. I think that she’s one of the few heroines who see death with realistic acceptance. She doesn’t mope about it… she just looks at it like it’s rain…an uncontrollable phenomenon that would occur any day.
Her love interest, Sorin, is also one interesting fellow. He’s a cold-bloodied assassin and he is a firm believer that every death serves a greater purpose. His first meeting with Ileni was quite antagonistic since they have differing beliefs when it comes to killing people. But over time, he warmed up to her. This event led me to another discovery of the other side of his personality. Sorin is somewhat naïve when it comes to girls and romance. And his reactions were really funny and at the same time, frustrating.
Even the other characters including the villains deserve commendation.
2. The Romance- Sweet and wasn’t interfering to the overall story. It was really interesting to see a romance unfolding between an arrogant sorcerer and a passionate murderer.
3. The Interactions and Dialogues- Highly amusing for the most part but chilling at certain times.
4. The prose- Beautiful and it really flowed well.
The things that made my inner bibliophile grumpy:
1. The Story- It wasn’t executed well. Death Sworn is the first book in the series and I expected that there’s going to be a lot of grounding works here. Apparently, there’s none. Death Sworn was relatively short for a High Fantasy book, consisting of only 191 pages. I want elaborate explanations about this and that. I want to understand the Rathian Empire, the Regenai and The Assassins. Being the first book, I actually anticipated that Cypress would supply solid rationalization about the community, about the world. She could have inserted back stories here and there. Or she could utilize any writing method that could fully immerse me in the world that she has painted.
Additionally, most of the twists were predictable and some of them were even loosely knitted.
2. The World Building- Almost non-existent. The whole story took place inside a huge cave full of glittering orb lights. Aside from that, I generally don’t have any idea what’s on the outside. What about the flora and fauna of the whole kingdom? What about religion? Does the community have beliefs and other customs? What about the laws enforced by the Rathian Empire, The Assassins and the Regenai? What about the lay out of the whole kingdom?
3. The Ending- Rushed. Cliffhangery. Riddled with inconsistencies and ambiguousness. There’s also an unbelievable scene that made me draw a question mark in the air. How did that happen?!!! What Ileni did was just ridiculous. Just can’t…Grrrr.
I don’t hate this book… please believe that. If truth be told, it was definitely a pleasurable read and I had a wonderful time in getting to know the other characters. The thing is, I want to be fair with my rating… I want to be fair with the potential readers of this book. There’s just no way I can ignore those glaring flaws.