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This atmospheric fantasy is, “from the gripping first line, a fast-paced, thought-provoking, and stirring story of sacrifice” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
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 ...
This atmospheric fantasy is, “from the gripping first line, a fast-paced, thought-provoking, and stirring story of sacrifice” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
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.
Posted January 24, 2013
This book draws you in. Not only are the characters amazing but they're unique and diffrent in their own ways. I completley love this book! If you like romance and fantasy I highly recomend this book
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Posted October 25, 2014
I absolutely loved this book. It brought tears to my eyes. It sometimes made me a little frustrated with certain characters too! That only means that it was a great book. It's different than anything I have ever read. Love love love love love!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 9, 2014
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: September 11, 2012
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Copy gifted by a friend
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
Can I just say "everything" and be finished? Yes? Please. Because seriously, this book was THAT GOOD. I was shocked that I liked it that much. I had a feeling that I would enjoy it, but LOVE? Five stars? Wow. This book blew me away, in the best of ways. The gods and goddesses thing had me kind of skeptical, because I generally don't enjoy books that deal with deities. I don't know why. But I really, really liked this one, as you can see.
Liyana has been exiled by her clan, because on the day of the summoning ceremony, Liyana danced, but her goddess did not come and inhabit her body. Liyana is left alone, with the desert heat on her back and sand wolves for companions (companions that try to kill her... wonderful). Korbynn, a god-inhabited vessel, shows up and tells her that five gods have been stolen, unable to inhabit their vessels (like Liyana). Korbynn and Liyana set out to find the other vessels, and then find the stolen deities. But so much more is at stake. The emperor wants to take the desert people under his control, but the desert people don't want this. And the Great Drought is still the entire empire. Mama mia!
First, I LOVE the world-building in this book. I love what Durst has created. This fantasy world is splendid, superb, amazing, fabulous, insert super positive adjective here. I could practically see, feel, touch the desert that Durst has brought to life. Everything so perfectly pieces together to make the world in which Liyana lives - the vicious sand wolves, the deadly sand worms, the scarcity of water, the intense sandstorms... Durst evokes the presence and essence of the world and setting beautifully.
The culture is so rich in this book. The lore and history is deep and all-encompassing and so, so crucial in this novel. At first, I was like, ugh, another story. But every story that Liyana tells has its purpose. Also, it helps to give an even better feel of the world and culture of the Goat Clan, and desert people in general. The gods and goddesses have such a large place in the lives of the desert people. I'm impressed with how well Durst displays the importance of the gods to readers. The gods are EVERYTHING to Liyana, and to her people. Liyana is willing to die and give her body to her goddess, Bayla, even when she tastes freedom, when Bayla does not come during the summoning ceremony. Incredible.
I LOVE Liyana. She is actually one of my favorite YA heroines. She has some serious spunk, grit, voice. The thing is, she's not over the top with her spunk. She is practical yet fierce, careful yet bold. She is extremely intelligent. I feel like she and I would get along really well, if she were an actual person.
I love the supporting characters as well. There are so many! Korbynn, the god who is actually inhabiting his vessel (he is also the lover of Bayla), Jidali (Liyana's little brother, who she thinks of very often), Fennik, Pia, Raan (vessels for their deities), the emperor. I have to say, I LOVED Korbynn right from the start, and the emperor, and Raan. They are my favorite supporting characters.
You are probably wondering about the romance. If Bayla and Korbynn love each other, and are lovers, where does that leave Korbynn and Liyana? It's not hard to see that Liyana will develop feelings for Korbynn, and vice versa. But Liyana is Bayla's vessel, and will die as soon as Bayla inhabits her body. Well, you'll have to read this book to figure out what happens in the romance. Personally, I LOVE what Durst did. I love the male interest so much, as a love interest and as a character with a pivotal role in this book. There is no real love triangle in this novel, if anyone was wondering. Don't believe people if they say that that's the case (I have no idea what people are saying, but I feel like that could have been something mentioned).
I kind of loved everything about this book. The story is so intricate and beautiful. You'd think that for a "long" YA novel (I don't think it's that long) that it would drag a little, or the pacing would be off somewhere. That was certainly not the case in this book. I loved all four hundred and some pages of this book.
So basically, you should read this book. Like right now. Forget whatever you're reading. This book got FIVE STARS from me, Alyssa, resident harda** when it comes to reading and reviewing and critiquing and picking things apart. So. There's that. Now off you go.
What I Did Not Like:
I can't think of anything specific to say in this section, but I'll update it if something comes up. Which probably won't happen. But you know.
Would I Recommend It:
YES! Whether you're a fantasy fan or not, whether you can't sit through "long" books or not, this is definitely a book for anyone (in my opinion). There is amazing world-building, an interesting story, tons of fascinating characters, and a lovely romance. I'm thrilled to have had a chance to read this book - the culture and world was enough for me to fangirl all over the place. YES, I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!
5 stars. Oh my goodness. I loved this book so much. I'm actually angry at myself, for having a copy of it for nearly two years, and not reading it until now. This is an incredible fantasy novel. And I have a signed copy, yay! That makes me incredibly happy. Go get a copy for yourself, trust me on this!
Posted February 28, 2014
Life is arduous for the clans of the desert. They prize their traditions and independence from the Crescent Empire, and they depend on the beneficence of their gods. Every century the gods to them and inhabit the bodies of the Vessels, chosen from among the clans ranks, and bring water and life to the desert.
Liyana has prepared for her whole life to be the Vessel of Bayla. She has been fed, clothed, and protected to provide the perfect Vessel for Bayla, and on the day of Bayla’s summoning, the goddess will take the body of her Vessel while Liyana’s soul will be forced from her body to return to the Dreaming. Liyana does not fear her death, for it will assure the survival of her clan.
But when the summoning is done, Liyana still lives . . . the goddess did not come.
Fearing a curse, Liyana’s clan leaves her with the bare necessities of survival and vanishes into the desert.
Alone, Liyana faces an uncertain fate until a young man appears out of the desert. He is Korbyn, the avatar of a trickster god who brings the news that several of the gods have gone missing, and that Liyana and he must find the other Vessels and seek out the trapped gods.
Beyond the desert, the young emperor of the Crescent Empire seeks the survival of his people in the form of a lake, seen only in a dream.
Posted December 7, 2013
The story is very good, and told very well. It's intriguing and very good. My problem is, the ending isn't great. It's awkward and rushed, and it feels like the author had a bunch of ideas and didn't want to get rid of any, so she threw them all in.
And the couplings at the end are both awkward and without chemistry, and sort of come out of nowhere and don't really fit with the rest of the story
Posted February 19, 2013
This book actually intrigued me from the very start. It was one of very few books that I purchased online and had shipped to me.
This book presents a world of magic and intrigue, a world where gods exist in another reality apart from their human counter parts only to return every hundred years, or so to revitalize the desert they live in. These humans are called Vessel’s, after which the book is aptly named.
The story chronicles the life of a Vessel named Liyana, who after performing the summoning ceremony for her god, finds herself alive and well without any sight of her god. Normally her soul would have been displaced effectively killing her, but she is left godless and deserted by her clan. Liyana is found by another Vessel currently inhabited by the trickster god Korbyn. She goes on a journey to discover the fate of the missing gods.
My review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even now after having just finished it there is a feeling in my stomach, almost a sadness that it has ended. While reading this book I, honestly laughed out loud more times than with most other books I have read. I smiled, I frowned, and I cried. I can truly say that this book has enchanted me to the point where I could not put it down. Even when sleep overtook me I was left with dreams filled with desert sands and the seductive promise of magic.
As always I made guesses at the beginning of this journey with this book, and surprisingly I was proven wrong. I did not expect this ending. I felt the main character, Liyana, was a strong and courageous woman in her journeys when most girls are portrayed as week and needing others to help her. She commands situations and because of the circumstances of her, as it was stated “Dreamwalk”, she has a wisdom that far exceeds her years in this world.
This book I cannot say held me on the edge of my seat with it’s fight scenes nor did it make me terrified of the future of the characters. I believe it’s true beauty is in how realistically this world was portrayed. The myths and the stories (folklore enthusiast please forgive me) were beautiful. I do not know if they stem from actual stories or if Sarah Beth Durst created them herself, but I can say that they captivated my inner child. The stories of the animals, of the gods and their alternate forms, captured my attention. Everything about this story was beautifully woven together into a world very close to our own but yet also somehow different. It is this difference that seduced me. In this world magic is possible, though with it’s own limitations. Small miracles are conducted and friendships are formed between unlikely allies. I became attached to the characters and hoped, wished for their eternal well-being.
Did I have any particular dislikes? I had very few, there were occasional grammatical mistakes and the word “his” was used when it should have been “he”. POSSIBLE SPOILER: My biggest problem was a basis of personal preference of love interest, but this can barely be considered something that could detract from the book. /END POSSIBLE SPOILER
I do not know if this is considered for a series or not, but I can say that I wish I could hear more stories. This book was beautiful and if this was any indication of the quality of the author’s other books I believe them well worth looking into.
Posted December 6, 2012
A moment of silence for all future attempts at fantasy desert novels, for I think they may have just been viciously crushed in a sandstorm.
There is no secret that I am a fantasy fan. If you do not like fantasy, you will probably not like this book. If you do like fantasy, you will probably spend several days drooling over the near perfection of it.
Vessel has so many things that are done right that it's hard for me to put it in a review that isn't going to be the size of a book report. I could go into so many details about why the characters were great and how I loved the characters arcs and this sacrifice and that realization and wait, when did I start loving Pia and oh gosh, Liyana, you are so much better than I am, and-
well, you get the idea. I can go into a fangasm over it all.
So I'll try to stay mildly cohesive and point out just a few things.
The world Vessel is set in is deadly and dangerous and gorgeous, but most interesting to me is the fact that Sarah Beth Durst has never played the game Journey. I'm pretty certain that Journey is what the Dreaming looks like.
The characters, as you can tell from my flailing above, are just amazingly well-crafted. The humans are so very human, and the gods are so very frail, and I just - please, just read it.
The only thing - ONLY THING - I had a problem with was the love plot. There were hints of a relationship with her and Korbyn, but it never really happened, and that was okay. But something is thrust on for Liyana at the end of the book, and I can't help but feel the book would have been just as special and amazing if Liyana had remained romance-free.
However, the perfection of the rest of the book far outshines that one ignorable problem, and this is definitely something I'll be rereading soon.
Posted December 1, 2012
The imagery hooks you and draws you in. The pace of the book is perfect for what transpires in Liyanas journey and the characters carry themselves with a sense of believability. I couldn't put it down until I finished it. It was like habing an anime play in my head. Highly recommend.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 1, 2013
No text was provided for this review.