Review – Vessel October 3, 2012Posted by thehypermonkey in 3.5 stars, Fantasy, Young Adult.
Tags: "book review", books, fantasy, reading, sarah beth durst, vessel, YA, young adult
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publish Date: September 11, 2012
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.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand I really loved it. The desert culture. The girl raised to be the vessel for her goddess. The trickster god! On the other hand, Liyanna was too obeisant to Korbyn in the beginning of their relationship and I felt no spark of kinship with her. In fact, I didn’t really connect with her until much later in the book. The only female character I really connected with right off the bat was Raan, another vessel from another village. She had a streak of rebellion in her that I could relate to.
The pace of the book is methodical. I didn’t have too much of a problem with it but some readers found it slow. In fact, I enjoyed the pace of the book. What I did have a problem with was the Emperor. I thought the way his story was inserted was jarring and incongruous. I also didn’t find it very interesting. There’s also a romance in the book that I didn’t find very romantic. There’s a love triangle in the book, but it came off all wrong.
I did love Korbyn, the trickster god. He was enigmatic at times yet open and available as a child at others. He was so multi-layered, you could continually peel back the layers like an onion and discover more facets to his character. He was sexy and charming. He was wise. He was definitely my favorite character.
This is most likely a stand-alone book as most questions are sufficiently answered in the end of the book. Sarah Beth Durst is an author I will definitely look out for as she’s written other books in this genre.