Death Sworn | Thoughts
Ileni is the most powerful sorceress of the Renegai, hailed since she was young for her unsurpassed skill at the craft of magic.
But she is losing her magic, and every time she draws on the natural reserve within herself, she feels the pool grow shallower, knowing soon there will be only emptiness left.
Her people see only one use left for her--go to the Assassin's Caves and learn who has been killing the sorcerers sent to train the young assassins. She accepts the mission willingly, resigned to die in the mysterious caves only after she accomplishes this last task for the Renegai.
I enjoyed this book, especially the strength of our main character as she takes on her mission. She is alone, feeling keenly the loss of her magic, her love, her people, and her home. Even more so, she is losing her sense of self. Until now, she has been defined by the power within her, by being the best among her people and the possibly the world. Without that status, she feels as though she is nothing, and death is a welcome thought.
Sorin is the best assassin within the Caves, and he has been assigned to guard Ileni from any threats lest the master have a third dead Renegai sorceress on his hands. He intrigues her instantly, and as she observes more about the ways of the Assassins she finds herself growing closer to them, longing to belong somewhere again.
While the author keeps this a simple story to start, the complications pile together by the end, forcing Ileni and we as readers to start questioning where lines of black and white blur to gray. The feeling that develop between Ileni and Sorin is the classic romance of enemies, but never overpowers the plot. We are given two characters who have been raised on either side of the line, and who put their beliefs above all else--even one another.
The personal struggles of each as they learn that perhaps what they've been taught is not altogether the truth, and of Ileni's search for purpose when she's lost herself completely, are the driving force of Death Sworn, and offer quite interesting examinations in to just how much can be justified in the battle for the greater good.