Vessel

Vessel - Sarah Beth Durst Vessel is a unique YA tale which had me captivated from the beginning. We meet Liyana who is destined to give up her body to a goddess. Her goal is to go into the Dreaming while the goddess Bayla lives on. Something goes wrong and the goddess doesn't come. She is left out in the desert to die while the clan moves to another location in hopes of finding a more worthy vessel.

As we first meet Liyana, we wonder how anyone could give up their life even when it is for the good of the clan. We understand that the clan is going under hard times and the goddess would make things so much easier. However, we are still caught in the selfishness in wanting to keep living and hoping that Liyana gets that chance. As we travel with her and Korbyn, the trickster god, who seems to know what has happened we find ourselves with a deeper understanding as to why it is important for vessels to exist and why they must give their lives for the task. It does not mean that we don't wish another outcome, but the blinders are now off and we understand Liyana's journey that will end in her death.

I fully expected to not like Korbyn. After all, he is a trickster by nature, but within this journey we find someone that can think and feel deeply. We root for Korbyn and Liyana even though we know it would never work. Korbyn is a god and Liyana is only human.

We also meet the emperor. One we suspect has something to do with the missing deities, but we don't know how or even are we sure what he has to do with it all. I did find him arrogant and infantile at first and his character did grow, but I have to admit, it didn't feel organic to me. I just didn't get the emperor and I would have to say was my biggest problem in this story. I think I needed to know more about him and really get connected to his character for me to believe his growth. It just didn't happen for me.

I give this book 4 stars. It is a wonderful unique journey and vision. It was a read I had a hard time putting down because I wanted to know what happens next. I recommend this to anyone wanting something different and engaging. It's a good fantasy adventure about a woman who makes her own path.