Book Review: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

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You know you’ve read an amazing book when, upon completion, you hug the book to yourself, sigh with satisfaction, and the immediately flip back to the beginning and start re-reading it. That’s exactly what happened to me with Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst — and I only forced myself to stop re-reading it when I realized how many books I still had left in my never-ending “to be read” pile.

vesselLiyana 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.

Vessel is unlike any other book I’ve read. It is a poetic story of love, sacrifice, and destiny, with Durst painting an on-going struggle between fate and free choice.

Every moment of this book oozes with emotion and atmosphere, right from the gut-wrenching first page, as Liyana begins what she expects will be her last day alive. Durst writes in such a way that you don’t just hear about these feelings; you experience them yourself — and that experience continues throughout the entire novel, right up until the very last exhilarating chapter. Each moment in the book fills you up with emotion and passion and fear and love and agony. It’s a truly involved reading experience.

Likewise, Vessel transports you to another world; to the desert landscape that Liyana and her people inhabit. It’s a stark world that is both beautiful and deadly, and Durst shows you every aspect.

Reading Vessel is both an escape and an experience not to be missed! It is in stores now.

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