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"Vespertine" by Margaret Rogerson

Vespertine cover

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.

Publication date: #October2021 #2021year

Note: Even though it's not explicitly stated in the book, Margaret Rogerson has confirmed that Artemisia is autistic in a Q&A answer post on her website here:

Did I Like It? yes I did! it took me a little while to get into it, but once I did I loved it!
Favorite Character? The Revenant!
Will I Re-Read It? maybe? if I can listen to the audiobook, I think I would enjoy that even more!
Three Words To Describe The Book: possession, death, acceptance
Goodreads Updates:
• are we going to address Artemisia’s autism or just pretend this is how everyone thinks… 😂
• a plethora of archaic and/or specialized language. thankful my kindle app has a dictionary downloaded. despite all my snark, I am really enjoying this book so far. once I read the “medieval venom” description everything made way more sense.
• the “medieval venom” description, from Margaret Rogerson herself: Hi all, this is the book I like to describe as medieval Venom starring a nun and a ghost. It’s about a girl training to be a nun who awakens an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic, and becomes a Joan of Arc type figure as she wields its power to battle the undead.
• well that’s not what I expected…❞ - Kait Goodwin

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