Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
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.
Liyana is a sweet, humble girl who immediately forms a connection with Korbyn, the trickster god. Though, Korbyn never really comes across as a light-hearted trickster, as his sole mission is to find and save the other desert gods. Instead, Korbyn sees something different in Liyana that he’s obviously attracted to. She’s a natural leader, brave and resourceful. Their search for the other vessels before hunting down the missing gods has the feel of a quest-based fantasy. But once they leave the desert, politics come into play, and the plot gets more complex.
Vessel is a coming of age story that fantasy fans of all ages should enjoy. This fantasy adventure is a unique story with plenty of magic, suspense, drama, and heart. The conflict will make readers think, as there isn’t a clear-cut sense of good versus evil at first. In fact, the numerous twists and surprises kept me on the edge of my seat till the very end.