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Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Vespertine is dark and mysterious with a captivating lore of it’s own, Rogerson has honed her craft in storytelling, making her an author readers won’t want to miss.”

Sheaf & Ink

The Story

From the Publisher:

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.

My Review: Vespertine

My first thoughts that came to me as I began reading Rogerson’s third novel was how much I’ve missed her writing. One aspect that always stood out, even in her debut novel was how well she wrote dialogue. This fun, witty way the characters would go back and forth. Humorous as it was clever, you were swept away by the back-and-forth of the characters banter.

What I also loved about this novel is we have a character unlike any of the other characters Rogerson has crafted. A young woman who was tortured by an evil spirit since infancy and thus traumatized by her subsequent abandonment by her family. Only when the Grey Sisters, a cloister of nuns who are in service to the dead, come to her rescue ten years after being possessed does she finally find solace and respite from her tormentor. Though at a very steep cost to herself. Leaving her crippled, scarred, and socially awkward.

However, Artemisia character arc is one that I thought Rogerson wrote well. As she fully understands her own mental and physical trauma, the complex history, and the shift in her faith. Even though she avoids social interactions, Artemisia does learn the value in the friendships she makes.

A Few More Thoughts

I hope there will be a second book.

Rogerson leaves the ending open for at least one more and my hope is that she will expand her world to be a bit more inclusive of LGBTQ characters and people of color.

Grand in scope, Rogerson envelopes us in a rich new world haunted by spirits, giving us an intricate hierarchy and layout of the dead. She also continues her skilled craft in clever, witty banter between characters that fans of Rogerson will love.

As violence erupts in a thrall of undead, the stakes grow higher after every chapter, readers will rush through this book like a torrent of wind. With surprise plot twists, ghosts penned in every page, and characters who will become new favorites, this book feels like the beginning.

It begs for a second book.

Last Thought

With an undercurrent of heat and mist, the collective magic of Vespertine inches you closer and closer to the spark that fills this book with an illumination holding back the dark. Action packed, eerily dark, and a found family that wraps this story with a perfect bow.

Happy Reading ̴ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked


  • Death and violence.

Vespertine Photo Collage

From the Publisher
Pub DateISBNPage CountPublisherAge GroupReview Posted Online
5-Oct-21978-1534477117400Margaret K. McElderry Books14+September 6, 2021

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