This week, I'm daring everyone to read VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst. After reading this novel, I became an immediate Durst fan and have been anxiously awaiting the day that my name finally comes up on my library's waiting list for some of her other novels.
This book is centered around Liyana, a girl who prepares her entire life to become the vessel of a goddess. Her body will eventually become the body of her goddess and Liyana will cease to exist to allow her goddess to use her magic to bring rain to the desert. However, Liyana's goddess never came and her tribe is abandoned, thus she is left behind from their shame. Eventually she meets the trickster god, Korbyn, who is inside his tribes vessel and they learn that five other gods are missing. They set off across the desert on an amazingly detailed journey to find the other vessels and find out what happened to the missing gods before it's too late. Unfortunately, the more time she spends with Korbyn the less she wants to save her clan and allow her goddess to take her as her vessel.
I think that the most interesting aspect of this novel was the location. The entire novel took place among different tribes that resided in different areas of a desert littered with magic and unknown creatures. I adored every second of it. Because of the unique location, Durst had to focus a lot of attention on detail and description because, frankly, a desert is most often thought of as an infinite expanse of sand with very little water. While this is true, her additions to this magical land and usage of roaming clans was immensely satisfying and interesting. I loved every second of it. It was almost as if the complex world-building was absolutely effortless.
I also loved the fact that this book was incredibly rich with mythology. However, it shows how much thought Durst put into this book because these are not gods we've ever come across before. Most mythological books that I've come across center off of known Greek and Roman myths. I have not encountered the ones in this novel before, so I'm operating on the suspicion that Durst created the entire backdrop of mythology, which, I repeat, I really adored.
With a very compelling cast of characters that are easy to feel for, this book can be enjoyed by many. It frustrates me that the novel is not more well known! The moment you know that you have an amazing novel in your hands is when you realize you never want it to end and, in my opinion, this is one of those books.
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.
You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!
Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^