About the Book:
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy
The dead of Loraille do not rest.
Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.
When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.
As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.
* I received an e-arc from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
I loved Sorcery of Thorns, so I was super excited to read Vespertine! It did not disappoint, and it’s the perfect fall read. Rogerson’s writing is so spooky and atmospheric and her world building is fabulous! I was quite fascinated from the beginning in this well paced, dark fantasy.
Artemesia is training to be a nun as she has been blessed with the sight, and this leaves her vulnerable to being possessed by spirits. Her job is to cleanse the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on from this world. If the nuns do no perform this ritual, the souls will rise starving for the living. Artemesia finds that she would rather deal with the dead than the living, as she has a troubled past.
When Artemesia’s convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, she is forced to defend the convent the only way she knows how, by awakening an ancient spirit that is bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a powerful being that threatens to possess her the moment she puts her guard down. Brandishing the revenant’s power almost completely overtakes her, but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess that is trained to wield a relic, has any chance of stopping it. All the knowledge of vespertines has been lost over the years, and Artemesia must turn to the revenant itself for help if she has any chance of saving Loraille at all.
I think my favorite part of this book was the unlikely relationship that develops between Artemesia and the revenant. I thoroughly enjoyed their banter back and forth. The revenant is super sassy, and I love sass in my fictional characters! There is also good anxiety and PTSD rep in this book which I really appreciated. I could really relate to Artemesia as I am quite introverted myself.
Overall, a book I really enjoyed! I look forward to Rogerson’s next book, and I hope to read her first book soon as well.
About the Author:
Margaret writes fantasy for young adult readers. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she’s not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms.