cover image Vespertine


Margaret Rogerson. S&S/McElderry, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-5344-7711-7

Filled with atmospheric details hinting at the era of Joan of Arc, this immersive tale follows Artemisia, a novice of the Gray Sisters who is around 17 and has dark hair, pale skin, and scarred hands. For the past 300 years, the Sisters have tended the dead of Loraille, an area in recovery after the spirits of the deceased rose and waged war on the living. Those with the Sight, like Artemisia, can both see the malevolent spirits and become possessed by them—but, most importantly, some are able to wield relics containing souls of varying power. Following an attack on the convent, Artemisia goes on the run with a powerful ancient relic, becoming the vessel for a sarcastic, devious revenant. Thus forms the beginning of a symbiotic relationship, both entities learning about each other amid betrayals and mysteries as they attempt to discover who is using forbidden Old Magic to keep the dead restless. Though the breakneck pacing loses traction part-way through and never quite regains its previous momentum, Rogerson (Sorcery of Thorns) deftly blends a coming-of-age tale and mythic quest in this dark fantasy. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sara Megibow, KT Literary. (Oct.)