Title: Vespertine (Vespertine #1)
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: October 5th, 2021
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 absolutely loved Sorcery of Thorns when it came out, so I knew I wanted to read Vespertine. And I’m so glad I did – and if you forced me to pick a favorite I would definitely say Vespertine.
The world is so unique in this book, where spirits form from dead humans and are sorted in different orders or strength, and based on how the humans died. The spirits can possess humans and be confined to reliquaries where their powers can be used and controlled by humans who are trained to. When Artemisia’s convent is attacked, she desperately opens a revenant’s reliquary, one of the strongest & most dangerous spirits, and is possessed by the revenant. With the revenant’s help, Artemisia must save the country from the forbidden Old Magic.
Starting with what I loved – the world and writing are very atmospheric, it’s super dark and twisty which is great timing for spooky season. There is nothing inherently scary about the plotline, but there is a lot of violence and triggers – so definitely check those out. The author has them listed on Goodreads. Next up, the characters. I loved Artemisia – she’s not the typical, cookie cutter YA fantasy heroine, she is super moody, blunt, with an RBF that even scares spirits. The revenant has it’s own voice, and it was MY FAVORITE. The sassy/snarky banter between the two was unmatched.
If there is anything to say about downsides to this title, I would say it isn’t the best with explaining the world or the spirit system. You catch on over the course of the book, but there isn’t a comprehensive introduction in the beginning, or info-dumping as some call it, which will either be a pro or con for people. But truly, I loved this book and was so excited to see it will be a duology. But, it definitely reads as a stand alone.
Thank you to Turn the Pages Tours and Margaret K. McElderry Books for inviting me to take place in the blog tour for this title. A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Margaret Rogerson is the author of theNew York Times bestsellers An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses. Visit her at MargaretRogerson.com.
Up for grabs on the book blog tour is two (2) copies of VESPERTINE by Margaret Rogerson, one a physical finished copy and one a digital copy. Open USA only.
Giveaway starts: Monday, September 27, 2021
Giveaway ends: Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 12:00 a.m. CDT
Happy reading, folks!