Review: Vessel

Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 424 (Hardcover)
Source: Bought

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. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry 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. For 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.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

After reading this book, I'm kicking myself due to the fact that I have never read anything by Sarah Beth Durst before. She caught my attention with the opening line and had me captivated until the last word on the very last page. I'm not going to re-summarize the book because the premise above was unbelievably spot-on, so instead I'm just going to share my favorite aspects of the novel.

The setting of this book and the way it mixes with the plot completely blew me away. This book took place entirely in a desert, so the attention to the detail that went into describing Liyana's home and surroundings completely blew me away. I'm seriously at a loss for words. The incorporation of mythology and usage of gods was mesmerizing. I couldn't get enough of Korbyn.

The romance in this book was incredibly interesting as well. Korbyn is the trickster god that realized several other gods including his beloved Bayla were kidnapped and imprisoned somewhere in the east. He entered his vessel and began hunting down other vessels and that is when he came across Liyana. Liyana is the vessel for Bayla, but he can't help the fact that she is an amazing girl that commands his respect. When Bayla finds a way to communicate with Liayana and Korbyn, you can imagine the antics that ensue.

However, I have to say that the aspect of the novel that I enjoyed most was the characterization. Liyana was such a strong heroine that I couldn't help but respect her. She's dedicated, determined, and loyal. When she believed her goddess abandoned her, she still did everything in her power to help her in case she needed it. The secondary characters were amazing as well. Korbyn was very enjoyable, but you'll find that all of the other vessels will find a place in your heart as well. You know you have an amazing story in front of you when you feel for every single character and get upset when anything bad happens to them. This is one of those books.

Durst is a literary genius that will blow you away with this desert tale. I enjoyed all aspects of the novel and have nothing negative to say, but to stress how much I recommend this to any reader, especially those who love fantasy. As perfect as the ending of this novel was, I wish I could spend more time in Liyana's world. This is one book that'll remain fresh in my mind for a while.

5 stars

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  1. Omigosh. This sounds like a book right up my alley. I love fantasy books, and the plot and characters sound amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this book with us. I'm definitely going to check this out!

    1. You will really love this one, Kris! I'm sure of it!

  2. THe only thing that I can even say about Vessel is that it is beautiful. Incredibly, breathtakingly, heartbreakingly, perfectly beautiful! I am so incredibly glad that I saw this one at the library and brought it home. I love Sarah Beth Durst from Drink, Slay, Love and Enchanted Ivy. Now she is on an automatic to read/buy list for me. Your review was perfect for this one! As usual! :)