Book Review: Vessel

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.

Title : Vessel
Author : Sarah Beth Durst
ISBN : 978-1442423763
Copyright : 2012
Pages : 432

This was a fantastic, well written novel of fantasy for young adult (and adult!) readers. I enjoyed so much about this story : the characters, the quest, the resolution … I could go on. I read it in one big gulp on a quiet afternoon, and it has stayed in my mind long after I finished it. I would recommend it to other people, and I think it would be a good fit for a book club discussion.

Be ye WARNED! Spoilers dead ahead…


  • The characters were well rounded, and not just the main ones. The secondary characters were relateable too. Liyana’s Aunt Sabisa and her brother Jidali stick out as favorites. I think this was a necessity, not only because it made the story more enjoyable, but also because these characters were the driving force behind Liyana’s willingness to sacrifice her being for the health of her clan.
  • The world building was amazing! I particularly liked the way Durst shared explanations of it. Storytelling is a vital part of the nomadic, desert tribes in her story. Liyana and Korbyn are especially prone to this. Details about how the tribes view themselves, and the personalities of each clan are shared through brief stories that slowly build to shape the world around the characters. I think because the history is shared in the form of intimate, and often funny stories, the reader becomes invested in the story as almost a conspirator that empathizes with the characters.

About shortlibrarian

I am a woman working in the Twin Cities as a programming Librarian.
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2 Responses to Book Review: Vessel

  1. Kathy says:

    Does this book come in audio form? I’d love to listen to it! xo

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