by Margaret Rogerson
Published by Simon and Schuster
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Book Title: Vespertine
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal,
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Sorcery of Thorns and An Enchantment of Ravens comes a thrilling new YA fantasy about a teen girl with mythic abilities who must defend her world against restless spirits of the dead.
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 really enjoyed Vespertine. It does a good job of setting things up, hopefully, if there’s going to be a sequel.
Artemisia has a hard life which has left a huge mark on the way she relates and interacts with people. At the convent she’s more at peace dealing with the corpses instead of talking to the other girls.
I loved Artemisia because in spite of her aversion to socializing or having anything to do with the living, when things go wrong, she steps up big time!
The relationship, or lack of, with Marguerite is a perfect example of how we should never make assumptions about people. We don’t know what they have or are going through and their lack of communication made things hard for both of them. Both secretly hating the other for things they thought they lacked.
Leander is another who also was hurt by assumptions. Had there been some sort of communication, maybe the sacrifices could’ve been avoided.
Rathanael has also been judged and convicted based on others actions and ASSUMPTIONS. When the revenant and Artemisia are able to develop a relationship despite of how they got together was pretty sweet to see. Both are outcasts and both (deep deep deep down) care and want to be accepted. As their friendship blossoms, they help each other get over some biases and clear up any misgivings.
There isn’t much of romance and I kept expecting it but it was a nice change. Not having a romantic aspect really focused on Artemisia and Rathanael’s growth. Showcases how strong this young woman, who’s not very well liked, is. The character development is on point and can’t wait to see what they get up to in the next book.