Monday, January 28, 2013

Vessel Review

VesselTitle: Vessel
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Genre: YA Fantasy

Why I Read It: I have a soft spot in my heart for the fantasy genre. There's not enough of this in YA literature. (There's a lot of urban-fantasy, which I also like, but I really do enjoy reading something entirely in a created world.) Also, there is a quest. I do like a good quest.

A Quick Intro: Liyana is going to die to become a vessel for the goddess of her desert clan, dancing in a the ancient ritual that will allow her clan to survive. But when she dances, the goddess doesn't come. Fearing that the goddess has deemed her an unfit vessel, her clan leaves her in the desert, virtually abandoning her to her death.

Until the trickster god, Korbyn, already in his vessel, walks out of a sandstorm, bearing the news that her deity  far from refusing to enter her, has been captured along with several others. Liyana knows that her clan will perish if she cannot free the deities, but, as the journey progresses, she finds increasingly that she does not want to die.

What I Thought: I really liked this one. It was the first one this year that I was really, truly fond of. I've never read something from the view of someone was essentially to be a human sacrifice, and found that Liyana was a strong character who grew throughout the story. There was some really enjoyable banter between the characters, and it was interesting to see how all of the vessels coped with their task. There was a bit of somewhat unrealistic romance toward the end, but it didn't really ruin the reading experience for me. (Insta-love seems to be becoming a pet peeve, doesn't it? At least the love interest wasn't ridiculously cliche this time.) Liyana's world, in addition to gods and goddesses, also contains it's own unique form of magic as well as some rather interesting creatures. Also, as mentioned, I like books that take place on a quest.

Fun Fact (these have kind of become a habit): The Sahara desert is expanding. This is made more rapid by the farming practices used on the edges of the desert, which sap the soil of nutrient until it is nearly unusable for growing any sort of crop.

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