defeat the dead | vespertine by margaret rogerson | turn the pages tours

by - 8:00 AM

"Sometimes, if you want to save other people, you need to remember to save yourself first."

isbn: 9781534477117 | pages: 387
     publication date: October 5, 2021 | source: physical copy from publisher for tour
     genre: young adult, fantasy | trigger warnings: blood, war, self-harm (magic) 
rating: 6.8/10

    A M A Z O N    |    G O O D R E A D S    |    B O O K S H O P * 
B O O K D E P O S I T O R Y    |    B A R N E S A N D N O B L E S

the lengths of duty
Vespertine tells the story of a world where the dead turn into spirits whose bodies need to cleansed for the afterlife or they'll develop a ravenous appetite for human possession. Artemisia is portrayed as a Joan of Arc character whose selflessness and sense of duty drive her actions and that is juxtaposed with the revenant she unleashes who views the world through a seemingly selfish perspective. The two, alongside a cast of complex characters really challenge the importance of stereotyping someone based on one aspect of their personality.

"If there's one thing I can always rely upon, it's the reassuring dependability of human idiocy."

The world of Vespertine takes the conversation of religious devotion and turns that into a central focus of the story and intertwines the various levels of devotion into the arcs of the main characters. In a fantasy world where theocracy exists as the main governmental structure, it's always interesting to see how authors balance religion and power and this is one story where the history of the world is so fascinating and immersive. 

"Do you know, it took me nearly a hundred years to figure out that monks existed? All that time, I just assumed they were unusually hairy nuns."

unlikely friendships are the best
Throughout Vespertine, Artemisia slowly comes to terms that despite being outcasted her entire life and treated as other, it doesn't mean that she's alone. From her banter with the revenant to the friends (new and old) she makes along the way, the character relationships were one of the key factors for how much I enjoyed this story. This is probably the first Margaret Rogerson novel where I was less focused on her prose or world-building and found myself more attached to her characters. While there is one portion in the middle of the story where, to be honest, the plot does not progress very much, it doesn't feel dragged because you're learning about the characters and their world.

Amidst all the hard questions and bleak depictions of war and death, this book had me smiling and just having so much fun.

"I supposed that for most people, mocking their fear made it seem weaker. The more they laughed at it, the less power it held over them."

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