Review: Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Series: Vespertine #1
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released: October 5, 2021
Received: NetGalley/physical arc
Warnings: Graphic injuries, self-harm, possession

I fell in love with Margaret Rogerson’s writing when I first read Sorcery of Thorns. Naturally, I dove at the chance to read Vespertine. This is the start of a new series of the same name and guys? I’m already counting down the days for the next release.

Artemisia has not had what one would call a happy life. Yet, she’s found a semblance of peace among the Gray Sisters. She’s in training to become one, where she will help cleanse the bodies of the dead and provide final rights to those that have passed on.

This is one of very few paths for those such as Artemisia. For she has the sight, and all with the sight are vulnerable to possession. Yet one event is about to change the course of Artemisia’s life, as she steps up to defend her convent and those within.

“Sometimes, if you want to save other people, you need to remember to save yourself first.”

So there were a lot of reasons why I was desperate to get my hands on Vespertine. First, that title and cover! Second, obviously at this point, I’m going to read anything written by Margaret Rogerson. It’s just a fact. And finally? Rogerson herself described Vespertine as a “medieval Venom starring a nun and a ghost.” Yes, please!

Vespertine was somehow everything and nothing like what I expected. It was even better. Artemisia’s story is so compelling that it’s easy to be curious about her and her past even right from the start.

Throw in ghosts and the risk of possession? And suddenly, this story just got a whole lot bigger. I love how Rogerson played around with classic storytelling elements and some ideas from the church. Concerns about good versus evil, possession, and saintliness. It made for an interesting mixture, to say the least.

While reading, it was easy to feel the Joan of Arc vibes. Obviously, there are a few significant twists in this narrative, but the fantasy elements made the whole story stronger if you ask me. And that’s coming from somebody who hardly read novels with a strong religious backdrop.

I can tell you with complete honesty that I fell in love with Vespertine and every little detail within. Especially the character development – and no, I’m not just referring to the humans in this case. It was such a delightful surprise, yet one that was very much necessary for this plot.

Here’s hoping we’ll get news on the sequel soon because I am dying (no pun intended) to learn more. I want more lore, character development, and this world as a whole. In short, I want more of all of it.

Thanks to Margaret K. McElderry Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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