Thursday, January 10, 2013

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

vesselSummary: Liyana is a vessel. Her goddess Bayla will inhabit her body while her soul moves onto the Dreaming. The other desert clans all have vessels being prepared for their god or goddess to come down and help save their people. Until 5 gods do not show up. Liyana's family leaves her banished when Korbyn the trickster god finds her. They set out on a quest to free the other gods and save their people from an encroaching enemy.

My thoughts: World and character-building are big ones for me when reading any kind of fantasy novel. It seems nowadays that authors just kind of throw together a world without fully fleshing it out and some two-dimensional characters to feel it. Not Durst. She packs this novel with myths, histories, and people. I was thrown in and immersed from the beginning. I love mythology and I am amazed when authors can make up their own for their stories and make them sound credible.

Goddesses and gods inhabit this world but they are all very human, with much to learn. I loved the interaction between Korbyn, learning to be in a body again, and Liyana who knows she should not be having feelings for her goddess' lover.

In the beginning Durst threw out a few stereotypes with her cast of characters but I think it was intentional to get the best changes and growth out of them she could. Liyana was a bit on the unquestioning and shy side but she really let her grow into a role of leadership and free-thinking. Is it really necessary that the gods kill those they inhabit? Why can't the vessels learn magic like the gods? The gods are supposed to love us, why are they so petty and selfish?

I just can't give enough praise for this book. It combined all of my required elements beautifully. I am definitely picking up more of her books in the future. And a big fat YAY to some quality young adult fiction.

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