Book Review: Vessel

Book Review: VesselVessel by Sarah Beth Durst
Published by Margaret K. McElderry on September 11th 2012
Pages: 424
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In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love.

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. She will dance and summon her tribe's deity, who will inhabit Liyana's body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But when the dance ends, Liyana is still there. Her tribe is furious--and sure that it is Liyana's fault. Abandoned by her tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. The desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice--she must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate--or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

Liyana was raised knowing that one day she would sacrifice her body as a vessel to her people's Goddess. Although she has resigned to her fate, Liyana hopes that her sacrifice will be worth it. But when the Goddess fails to take over Liyana's body as expected, and a sinister plot is revealed, nothing will ever be the same in Liyana's world.

What an incredible tale! Sarah Beth Durst has become one of my go to authors over the last few years, and Vessel is an extraordinary reason why. A high fantasy tale filled with memorable characters and a romance that will leave you breathless.

From the moment I met Liyana, I knew that I was going to love her character. A strong female character who is willing to do whatever it takes. Additionally, there is Korbyn. Words probably cannot express how much I loved this character. The interactions between Korbyn and Liyana were perfect. Plenty of banter and a sweet romance possibility simmering below the surface.

Vessel is a very journey-orientated, which may put off some readers, but the beauty of Vessel is that it never felt as if it was too much. Sarah Beth Durst infuses the journey with secondary characters and their tribes breaking up from the monotony that some other journey-orientated reads suffer from. Additionally, the journey of Korbyn and Liyana flesh out Vessel's world in a way that feels natural and organic. No info dumps here.

Final Verdict:

Vessel went beyond any expectation I had for it. The world building that Sarah Beth Durst explores is some of the best I have ever seen. Immersing me into a world that I never wanted to leave. I loved every moment of exploring this incredible tale. Bravo!

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2 responses to “Book Review: Vessel

  1. Glad to see a positive review of this; it’s on my list of books I missed in 2012 but hope to read in 2013. We’ll see how soon I can get my hands on a copy to check out the amazing world building of Durst.

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