Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Good Reads Summary
Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love.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.

My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Interesting mix of duty and faith and a hint of romance in a landscape not often tackled, I enjoyed this. The desert clans have their gods and goddesses and they each offer vessels to them. The vessels are chosen, special and trained early on about what they’re to do. Liyana is one such girl except when her time comes things don’t go as expected. Abandoned by her clan, struggling to makes reconcile what is and what should be, she encounters Korbyn, trickster god. Nefarious goings on and missing gods later, they go from clan to clan to collecting each vessels like herself, hoping to stop whatever it is that’s kept her from fulfilling her destiny.

Odd, the practicality they all showed, Liyana especially. They all know their fate yet they go head on to meet it anyway. Perhaps not so odd since it isn’t about dying she says, but allowing others to live. An interesting thing, and I wished for more of it, but it’s set aside with them facing one clan after another, with the next always so different from the first: horse clan, Silk clan, Scorpion clan… doing the same thing, living in the same place but reacting so differently. The majority of the vessels had a similar practicality to hers. It’s something I found it odd and had me wondering what would become of them eventually, simply because they weren’t (wondering , I mean). Save Raan, everyone’s so ready to fulfill what needs fulfilling, no questions asked. Sure there are some moments of regret, of being scared early on, but get past that then it’s all about one of vessels or their respective clans.

Straightforward. You could say the fantasy element is straightforward: take your gods and your goddesses toss in some clans then add some vessels for sacrificing. But make things a little more interesting with a young charismatic leader, doing what he thinks is right… and maybe even a reluctant hero (or two). That’s Vessels in a nutshell, except it’s so much more. Those reluctant heroes that I point to? Well, imagine if one of them isn’t so reluctant after all, rather simply unsure about where to start? And the other “reluctant” hero is so because he’s normally the cause of folly. Just think the boy who cried wolf, only more dire. They’re different I will give them that. Or that young charismatic to which I refer? Well, he isn’t all completely evil all the time. He just thinks his way is right. The one thing they all have in common is that they think what they’re doing is the right thing for all of them, so in that inevitable collision was exciting to say the least.

The Lurv.Then the romantic developments. There’s a closeness between the two main characters that left little doubt about where things were headed, but things got complicated eventually. Things were bound to, yes with gods involved?  Know this, the love story is a teensy part to this fantasy adventure, but it’s also the most confusing part, given everyone involved.

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