Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Recommendation: ‘Vessel’ by Sarah Beth Durst

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Liyana is a Vessel, destined to hold the spirit of Bayla, the goddess of the Goat Clan.  She has trained for years, kept her body pure and unblemished, and she is ready for her soul to leave her body so the goddess can work her magic and save the clan from the Great Drought
that is destroying the desert.  But when Liyana has finished her dance the goddess has not appeared – and Liyana is abandoned by her clan as they begin their search for a more worthy Vessel.  Left with little to hope for, Liyana is prepared to die – until the trickster god Korbyn appears and tells her that she is not a failure, Bayla did not appear because her spirit was stolen from the Dreaming.

Drawn into a quest to find the Vessels for the missing gods and goddesses, Liyana finds herself growing closer to Korbyn.  It is a surprising revelation to find that she begins to resent the time they spend with the other Vessels, that she is having feelings for Korbyn that are not appropriate for the person who will leave her own body to make room for Korbyn’s beloved.  But things are never simple, and the journey is punishing and tinged with sorrow, and becomes even more complicated when Liyana discovers that the Empire which borders her desert home is also suffering from the Great Drought, and that the Emperor seeks a hidden treasure within the desert to save his people.  Vessel is a fantasy adventure on an epic scale, a gripping read that is impossible to put down, an absorbing journey through a land where magic is real and love can cross boundaries and make the impossible possible.  One of my favourite reads of 2012.

Reviewed by Em


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