Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Book: Vessel
By: Sarah Beth Durst
Published: September 11, 2012
Published By: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Description: 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

My Thoughts: Vessel is a story that thoroughly depicts what it means to be human, and why some, no matter how insignificant they may seem, are stronger than you think.

Vessel follows Liyana, of the goat clan, vessel to the god Bayala. As a vessel, her body is not her own, she must strengthen and prepare it until such a time as she will sacrifice herself and the god will inhabit her body. That date is now upon her, but during the ceremony, the god doesn’t come, and her clan, fearing that Liyana is unworthy and  has angered Bayala, tosses her aside and moves on without her. Alone in the desert and having to face environmental danger, Liyana expects to die quickly, but when Korbyn shows up, a god within a vessel, she learns that hey god was kidnapped and trapped in a false vessel, and she must team up with him to save her, despite her ever increasing feeling that she doesn’t want to die for her god.

This was a good story, though the beginning did have a few slow moments. I enjoyed watching the blossoming relationship between Liyana and Korbyn, and seeing the other vessels and how they relate to each individual god. Many of the characters I didn’t like as individuals, they were just mean annoying people, but it was done on purpose, and I could grow to like how annoying some of the characters were. This book was packed with ancient legends and myths that made the story come to life.

I liked Vessel a lot, though I wished the ending would have been a bit different and I wish the beginning weren’t so slow. I give it 3.5 stars. This story would be a good one for those who like stories about gods and humans, but where the gods actually “help” the humans (in their own twisted way), instead of making humans do all their dirty work for them.  It was an enjoyable read.


Lan said...

This sounds like an awesome premise and it's one I haven't come across before. I've always been interested in the idea of humans sacrificing themselves for a plentiful crop in the new year. Scary the things people believe. The cover of this is beautiful too.

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