Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: September 2012
Pages: 432
Source: Review copy sent by publisher
For: Review

Liyana has known she would be a vessel for her goddess for many years. She has prepared for and known she will die to help her clan. But when her goddess doesn't come, her clan leaves her to die. Instead, she is found by Korbyn, a god who found his vessel, and they embark on a journey to find the gods and goddesses who didn't come to their vessels. Will they be able to find them and if they do, will Liyana want to make way for her goddess?

Things I Liked:
I was immediately sucked into this delightful fantasy.  The setting (for some reason, deserts cultures are always so fascinating to me) felt so real.  I loved Liyana and the struggles internally and externally she faced.  I also really liked seeing the idea of the vessels from different perspectives - not everyone was eager to give up their lives, while some wanted to die for the good of their people.  Korbyn was really fascinating too and so much fun - I have a soft spot for the trickster gods.  I loved the glass serpents and the sand wolves and so many other magical details that just added to the complexity of the fantasy world.  A great read with plenty of action and intrigue.  All those beautiful little details like the bells and the description of her dress and the love of the desert made this one come to life for me.

Things I Didn't Like:
What disappointed me most was the romance near the end.  It seemed almost to come out of nowhere and have no true basis.  I liked the slow burn for the romance during most of the book, but then something suddenly popped up and threw that off for me.  I was disappointed by that.  But, since much of the book is not about romance, I was still able to enjoy it.  The ending was rather surprising in good ways too.  Overall, I really enjoyed this fantasy; felt like a classic at times.

Definitely kept reminding me of The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
Also, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
And Chalice by Robin McKinley

s-factor: none
that I recall

mrg-factor: X
mostly kissing, though some other implied stuff

v-factor: ->
action fighting, but not graphic

Overall rating: ****

What makes a great fantasy world seem real to you?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Vessel sounds really intriguing! I haven't heard much about it before but I think I will definitely have to add it to my TBR list now.

    ~Allison @ Good Books & Good Wine

  2. I loved Vessel for all the same reasons you did (and had the same struggles with the romance). I think one of the things that makes a fantasy world seem real to me is when the culture is as deep and fleshed out as the one here in Vessel. I especially loved all the stories about the gods. It just makes it feel like the world exists outside of the book, that it goes far back. If that makes sense. :D

    1. Definitely there needs to be more to the culture than what we read about. I love how deep it goes. And yes, of course it makes sense :)

  3. I have this one on my TBR shelf and am actually looking forward to reading it...someday. I hope the romance thing doesn't bug me too bad.

    1. I hope it doesn't ruin it for you, but I still really enjoyed the book despite that little qualm.


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