By Author / Illustrator
Simon & Schuster Ltd
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. Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, Leigh Bardugo, Alexandra Bracken and Holly Black.
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. She'd rather deal with the dead than the living, who point and whisper about the odd girl who was once possessed by a violent spirit.
When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia fights back by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a high saint's relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being now whispering in her head. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her in body and soul. But death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has a chance of stopping it.
As Artemisia investigates a mystery of saints, secrets and dark magic, an ancient evil is stirring. Can an untrained girl, tormented by the burden of containing the revenant's devouring power, have any hope of defeating it?
This is the first time I have read anything by Margaret Rogerson and I question myself with... Why? This author knows how to engage the reader from the first page, truly not a dull moment in this story, I only wish I could have the next book in my hands!
In Vespertine, Artemisia is a young nun who is in training to be a grey sister. This is a nun who cleanses a body before burial so its spirit can rest peacefully. This is what she prefers as she doesn't interact well with others who gossip about her past. The convent where she lives is attacked by possessed soldiers and Artemisia finds herself in a situation where she can only help defend it if she summons an ancient spirit. Will this spirit possess her and kill everyone, or will she be able to control it?
One of the best parts of this plot is the interaction between Artemisia and her Revenant. At first it felt a little childlike but as the story develops so does the banter, it feels like true respect and friendship is forming between them.
I enjoyed every one of the 387 pages of this wonderfully written story, that is totally suitable for the 11+ reader. Due to the many discussion points that can be raised from the plot it would also be a great addition to book clubs and for intervention groups. This author is great at world building, she knows how to totally immerse the reader into her pages, so Vespertine is well worth the read. Believe me, when you pick up this book you will enjoy exploring the creepy crypts with their tunnels and secret places, along with other places with Artemisia!
400 pages / Reviewed by Linda Brown, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 11+