An international bestseller!
From the New York Times bestselling author of Sorcery of Thorns and An Enchantment of Ravens comes a thrilling, “dark coming-of-age adventure” (Culturess) about a teen girl with mythic abilities who must defend her world against restless spirits of the dead.
The spirits of the dead 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 ravenous, hungry spirits. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who whisper 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 whose extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come, 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, Artemisia discovers that facing this hidden evil might require her to betray everything she believes—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.
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.
Potential to be amazing, but not quite there!!
Ok, so I’m very torn with this book. I really want to give it a 5 star review but I just can’t. For one there are too many errors in the story itself. Like at the end when the two main characters faced each other and accused each other (sorta) of being killers. Well there were 2 different instances where she had thought Leander had killed someone and one was only brought up and she was totally convinced. Did the author forget there was another one? Also when the revenant sensed old magic on the priest (the same day the arrived in the city) this was days before he was supposed to have touched the casket that would have left the black magic on him. This occurred when he went down to the vault and took the page from a forbidden book. So how did he have magic on him at that point then end up in the end not the one who was using it and doing all the bad stuff??
The next thing that bothers me is the main characters is a bit off… she grows up being taught you aren’t supposed to trust, or speak to a revenant. But then when possessed and is being taken by people like her to help her exorcise it, she instead teams up with it after only speaking to it for a minute or so and runs away and stays hidden and fights against those who are on her side. It makes no sense. Like really why? There was no reason for any of that. And how quickly someone who had been possessed as a child and badly abused because of it was to trust an even strong more violent spirit that possesses her later on!
This is a interesting idea for a book and it has so much potential, but it felt rushed n half thought through. But the actual writing was great.