Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

My second book by this author!

Themes: YA fantasy, paranormal


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.

The review

Even though I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t love it as I loved An Enchantment of Ravens, I definitely enjoyed it and will try to pick up more books from this author!

I loved the idea of spirits rising from corpses and the nun being the one in control because of their ability to fight them. Artemisia was a breath of fresh air as a heroine since she is clearly not social (because of a quite traumatic past) and has unexpected reactions when being in contact with others. I loved the contrast between her and the revenant, who is clearly much more at ease in social contexts, talkative and full of dry humour (my favourite type of humour). They both made me smile, Artemisia being funny without meaning it. I also enjoyed her… not pessimist personality, but at least she’s not utterly optimistic when confronted with dire situations whose outcome is more likely to be the death of at least one person.

However enjoyable my experience with this book was, it’s still lacking some of the elements that made me love An Enchantment of Ravens. The pace of dragging a bit just for the sake of having a novel instead of a novella since there are 3 major events happening in this book at most. I also felt the worldbuilding was lacking a bit, we are basically remaining within one city, and there was nothing extraordinary about it. But Margaret Rogerson still managed to create an atmosphere specific to this book and I had no issue picturing the surroundings of the characters.

In brief: Not my favourite by this author so far but still a good read if you don’t mind a simple plot and resolution, and being left with some questions

My rating: 4/5


3 thoughts on “Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson”

  1. spirits rising from corpses and an anti-social main character?? SIGN ME UP RIGHT AWAY PLEASE. i love your review AND MUST ADD THIS BOOK TO MY TBR RIGHT NOW?? im so glad you enjoyed it even if it wasnt the best ever <33

    Liked by 1 person

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