Arc provided by Harper Collins Children through Edelweiss
Release Date: March 3rd
I am just going to come out and say this, a little like pulling a band aid, fast and clean:
I did not enjoy reading this story, and since I am not a fifteen year old girl, no, that reason doesn't have anything to do with what ends up happening in the end (don't worry, no one dies..at least no one that relevant to the story).
The main reason that made me at numerous times consider to DNF this, has something to do that, once again the world building is practically non existent. But this time on a bigger scale. Because if in the first volume, the story took place inside some caves, now Ileni has been captured by the Empire..and I was thinking big, you know?
But no such luck.
Death Sworn ends, and three days later, Death Marked starts....for me this feels lazy.
Once again too much tell, not enough show..
The story starts with Ileni being held captive by the Empire ( a very small Empire who only has a Jack /Jane of all trades to all important leading roles in the story..very disappointing), and then being conveniently contacted by Sorin...though you'll have to hold on until the last pages to figure out this apparently whimsical activity, as well as many, many others.
I am sorry to say this, but this time Ileni is severely lacking in all the things that made her praise worthy in the first book, and if on one hand, I could be led into believing that what she goes through is believable due to her age: the indecision, the not knowing in whom to trust, on the other, no one wants to read the story of someone who is constantly considering changing sides.
As a consequence she sounds weak and pathetic.
Thing is, for about 85 or even 90 percent of this narrative, I would give this a one star/one and half star rating:
This was just boring with apparent tstl actions and characters. It really was too much to ask of its readers to keep reading something so basic and undeveloped.
However, the last part reveals part of the motives behind what appeared to be tstl actions.
Also the way in which the author chooses to follow a "less travelled" road for the the way the story ends, could be seen from two different angles:
The innovative one, in the sense that the author pulls the rug under our feet, giving us instead a completely different story. One told on a definite smaller scale.
On the other hand, and having already read the author's other series, I am afraid that I am finding a pattern here:
When things get tough, the author seems to follows the less troublesome road, and that isn't good, because these are fantasy books, not coming of age realistic stories.
In fact I started this review with the intention of giving this _ grudgingly _ a 2.5 star rating, but now on second thought I can't help feeling that I was pulled a fast one.
Also, the romances in Leah Cypess's world continue to be treated in a severely lacking way. Especially in the latest instalments of both series, and although I am a big fan of the "boys with the bread" type of character, I was not a fan of what happened here. Or of what may happen..
Bottom Line: I cannot in good conscience recommend this book.
This doesn't have anything to do with HEA in the story's, it has to do with feeling that the characters made the effort...or not.
And the thing is, I read and enjoyed Death Sworn because of two characters not because of one, and Sorin never pretended to be something he wasn't...
I understand what the author tried to do. She tried to create layers and more layers to the story, but not having enough world building to support them, by not being able of creating strong relationships between the characters _ what happens in the end is another proof _, and having girl on girl hate, made it impossible for me to enjoy this.
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