“Rogerson’s unveils a grim and intriguing world … A dark and enthralling journey.” — Kirkus

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Welcome to a world where spirits of the dead walk again, and nuns hold the power to quell evil with more than just prayers. In Vespertine (Margaret K. McElderry Books), our heroine and the voice inside her head battle spirits in monastery crypts and outwit an ancient evil in the form of a handsome priest. From its first page to the last, this novel is the badass and blood-soaked nun tale you’ve been waiting for.

Like a witch honing her craft, Margaret Rogerson’s style and story development grow with each successive novel she writes. In her latest novel, Vespertine, she once again shows us a girl shaped by tragedy finding the incredible inner strength to become a woman of power and courage. Artemisia is the kind of tortured, strong heroine you can’t help but root for with the turn of every page. But Rogerson does not rely on old tropes to form her newest novel. Instead, she gives us a fresh take on a tale of self-discovery, adding nuance to her novel with spiritual possession and ancient spirits becoming new friends.

THE HOLY WAR SET AGAINST A MATRIARCHAL, MAGIC-FILLED SOCIETY

Vespertine is like the Holy War set in a matriarchal, magic-filled society. Rogerson develops a deep, beautiful and dreadfully dark history complete with haunted crypts, magic runes and ancient evils. In fact, one of the most impressive aspects of the novel is the vivid descriptions that allow you to journey through those crypts along with Artemisia and her ancient, partially evil companion. As the true nature of sainthood is revealed and an ancient evil lingers in an unexpected place, we the readers get to experience this fascinating and terrifying world firsthand. And what we would give to walk an hour beside Artemisia or be part of the conversations in her head, even for all the fear and sadness she carries with her and the burden of being an unknowing savior.

This novel also delivers on the substance of developing our character’s relationship slowly with growing mutual respect and sharp-witted humor. It is a joy to watch our heroine and her companion discover the value of belonging to someone and facing the scars of a past covered in pain. As they travel and fight together, actually becoming the most unlikely friends, our main characters learn to overcome their own preconceptions and insecurities to save their corner of the world.

One measure of a good book is how much you’d give to move alongside its main characters during their journey. And in Vespertine, Rogerson has truly given us a heroine who is courageous, intelligent, witty, and most of all, incredibly strong. From the deep burn scars on her hands to the tall, wiry build of her frame, the cruelty endured and the strength earned is evident in every description of Artemisia. In this story, we get not only the adventure and depth we crave from fantasy novels but we are honored to watch a scarred girl redefining what it means to become a woman saint.

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Margaret Rogerson is the author of the New York Times bestsellers An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, OH, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses.