Book reviews Fantasy

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

About the Book-Vespertine

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.

Goodreads page

“Perhaps the decisions that shaped the course of history weren’t made in scenes worthy of stories and tapestries, but in ordinary places like these, driven by desperation and doubt.” 

Quote from Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

Our Review of Vespertine

Maybe I was not the right audience. Maybe it wasn’t the right book for me. Maybe it was the audiobook or maybe it was the case of the wrong book at the wrong time. The endpoint was that I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I had loved and enjoyed the author’s other books. I am inclined more towards seeing it as the fault of the audiobook. Perhaps it was the lack of proper setting and detailing to the world and workings of the supernatural world, the book was based on. I tried my best to be in line with what the book was telling me and for a major part, I was all aboard but somehow if felt I was missing the bigger picture the whole time.

The book begins with such a bombardment. Things go from one event to another and in all fairness, the book is pacy and is filled with adventure and events. As I mentioned before, I felt that some of the dots weren’t connected. Mostly the origin stories were kind of missing. Like where did the creatures come from, what are they or more background on these and the setting of the world in general. Maybe the book did but was done so subtle that I completely missed it. Maybe the monotony of the audiobook simply couldn’t get me conscious enough to take a note of all that. I don’t know… there are a lot of maybes.

The fact is that the book had a tone that felt like it was picking up the story from somewhere middle. The book assumes that we already know every creature, place and ritual mentioned in it. So naturally, the whole plot goes forward with this assumption and leaves tiny holes, at least for me, to fully grasp the full picture of the events happening. But did I understand the story? I did. But was the book enjoyable? Not exactly. As I said with the tiny holes, it kind of left scope for a lot.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would say that the book wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. Too many cryptic things and too many sub-layers that I couldn’t piece together and somehow I felt that book had a very linear narration and not in a good way. Perhaps it was because of the audiobook or perhaps it was the nature of the book but in general, it wasn’t a good read for me.

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