Artemisia is in training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass, but Artemisia also has a special talent…she can discern the different types of spirits in one of the highest orders and this talent changes her future. When possessed soldiers arrive and attack her convent, Artemisia takes up the relic of a fifth order revenant and allows it to possess her in order to save the other nuns. The story of her fight sweeps the countryside and her history is rewritten. Vespertines are priestesses who can wield a high relic, but how they do that has been lost and Artemisia turns to the revenant inside herself for the knowledge to beat the evil that is sweeping the country.
Once again Margaret Rogerson has created a really interesting world. This story is much darker in feeling which is portrayed really well by the cover. Artemisia is a rather dark soul even before a revenant takes residence inside of her body. Possessed by an ashrim, an evil spirit, when she was a child, her parents kept her locked in a shed for years. It was only by burning her hands in a fire that she removed the spirit, but the horrors of her past have left scars, both internal and external. I really liked her evolution from solitary scared girl to a young woman who decides to fight instead of surrender to evil.
Written during the pandemic I drew a parallel between the spirits ravaging Artemisia’s world and the virus which is ravaging our own lives. Artemisia stepped out of her comfort zone, her solitariness, and leaned on the people around her and trusted in others to help her fight her battles. In comparison, I wish our real world chose to fight the virus together instead of skirmishing individually about vaccinations and masks. However, unlike my world and all that’s going on within it, it was nice to see her conquer evil. The way the novel ended I felt like the author may have left the door open for another book? I kind of hope so. I am now invested and would love to see where these characters lead us next. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.
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