Hey all, Sam here.
All right, so I managed to do some reading while away at a cabin for a few days, and I figured I should actually probably get my reviews put together soon instead of waiting until I only half-remember what happened. Because that happens far more frequently than I would like. Before last year and such I could say that the half-remembering was because I read so many books each year, but since last year it’s just been because I’ve been so behind on everything and keep putting it off…and now I haven’t read the books in like a year or so.
But that’s not the case with today’s review. No, I just read this book earlier this week at the cabin, though I had meant to read it before it was released.
Also, I’m going to try and prep up some posts ahead of time because we are moving in just over a week, and I know things are going to be pretty chaotic for the next couple of weeks. It’ll be easier to manage if I can have my posts scheduled ahead of time.
Okay, let’s just go ahead and jump into the review.
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.
Rating: 4.5 stars
I’ve read and enjoyed Rogerson’s previous releases, and honestly I was more excited for this one than I was for the other two. And it mostly lived up to the expectations. Honestly I marked it down the half star because I started this book two or three times and would only read a few chapters and then set the book aside for months. Now, that could just be because of the reading slump I was in, so I might re-read this book and re-evaluate my rating.
The whole vibe of this story made me think of clerics in Dungeons & Dragons, and I’m pretty much always up for that sort of a tale. And I’m going to be completely honest here…so much of this story resonated with my current D&D character. Almost everything about Artemisia reminded me of my D&D character, and that’s a great thing and a not great thing at the same time…because I’m writing a book following her and her friends adventures. Hopefully my story will be different enough that people don’t think I’m ripping off this book.
I enjoyed the worldbuilding of this story, especially since there was a lot of religious lore to develop, as well as world history, and coming up with all the different levels of undead beings for the story.
Once I actually got myself into the story, I really couldn’t stop. I read the whole thing in only a few hours…and then I felt bad for having put the book down so many times before. I think I read the first two or three chapters like three times. I was always interested in the story, and the way the book started was really interesting. It’s why I could re-read it and still really enjoy it.
The relationship between Artemisia and the Revenant was a complex one, and I found it to be quite fascinating. Actually, our Vespertine main character just had really intriguing relations and interactions with several of the characters in here, because of the fact that she wasn’t very good at connecting with people.
I thought this was supposed to be a duology, which would be interesting since the previous books were standalones, but I don’t see anything on Goodreads or anything about another book. I would like to see more in the Vespertine world.
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