Magical and Riveting: A Review of VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst

Sarah Beth Durst
320 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: September 11th, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: LIKED

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.

   Get ready to plunge head-first into another world that will leave you more than thirsty. Sarah Beth Durst takes readers for a ride in a dessert where tribes will do anything for a drop of rain – even sacrifice their own.

   Liyana has been training all her life to die. Ever since the moment she went on a dreamwalk, she and her tribe have known she’ll have to die. Sacrifice, is the word, but to her, death and sacrifice mean the same. Liyana is a headstrong girl not afraid to use her mouth, and unaccustomed to holding back words that shouldn’t be said.

   When the goddess supposed to inhabit (read, takeover) Liyana’s body doesn’t show up, her tribe abandons her to the merciless desert. Left with nothing but a sand-filled well and the provisions of the scorching earth, Liyana knows death is just a day or two away. Enter Korbin, out of nowhere. Turns out, the gods are missing. And he needs Liyana’s help to find them.

   But Liyana knows: once the gods are found, she’ll have to give up her life for them anyway. The struggle in VESSEL isn’t just in the world, it’s within Liyana as well. And while she fights for her people, she might just be fighting for herself, and a new-found right to live.

   VESSEL was different. At times it reminded me of Moira Young’s BLOOD RED ROAD, but that was only in setting. Everything else was unique. Sarah Beth Durst’s writing flows and captivates, while her plot pulls and submerges you into her story. Magical and riveting, VESSEL is a definite must-read.

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Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Nikki H

    September 15, 2012

    Ugh mine is still on its way from Barnes and Noble and I can't wait to read it! Glad you liked it! Great review!

  2. Reply

    Dazzling Mage

    September 15, 2012

    This sounds like an amazing read- the premise is fantastic. Great review!

  3. Reply


    September 15, 2012

    I love this cover! But the story sounds amazing! This is the first review I have seen for it so I'm happy to hear its a great read!

  4. Reply


    September 15, 2012

    This is one of the next books waiting for me on the TBR pile, so your review has me really excited about it! Original and captivating are the magic words.

  5. Reply

    Bookluvrs Haven

    September 15, 2012

    Love the cover. So eye catching! Added this to my list and can't wait to pick this up!


  6. Reply

    Jesse Burgoyne

    September 15, 2012

    This is my first time hearing of this one. The cover is amazing, but the story itself sounds so unique. I loved Blood Red Road, mostly because of its amazing settings, and I can't wait to see what Vessel has in store for me!

  7. Reply

    Addie R.

    September 15, 2012

    Gaahhh this sounds so awesome! xD And that cover is so stunning! ♥
    Lovely review. :)

  8. Reply


    September 15, 2012

    I have not heard of this one before. Sounds like something I would like. Great review! Thanks.

  9. Reply


    September 16, 2012

    Awesome review! This sounds like such an interesting concept, definitely going on my to-read list! Have a great day :)

  10. Reply

    Ashelynn Hetland

    September 16, 2012

    oh I love that this one has the same feel as BLOOD RED ROAD. I adored that one, and now am looking forward to Vessel! I just love that cover. <3

  11. Reply

    Cassy Wrage

    September 16, 2012

    I hadn't heard of this until reading your fabulous review, but now I am sooo intrigued. May just have to pick this one up, thanks for the great review.

  12. Reply


    September 16, 2012

    Wow…I want to read this now!! Great review!

    YA Sisterhood

  13. Reply


    September 17, 2012

    Ooh, I like different, I might have to check Vessel out further! I haven't heard much about this so thanks for the great review!

  14. Reply


    September 17, 2012

    Glad you liked this one as I have been so curious about it! I love how original it sounds!

  15. Reply

    Maji Bookshelf

    September 17, 2012

    oh wow I never knew what this novel was about and based on the cover I passed it up but reading your review, I really like the premise of it and the female protagonist. Definitely adding it to my TBR!

    great review Hafsah!

    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  16. Reply

    Katharyn Vela

    September 20, 2012

    I can't wait to read this book! I love Sarah Beth Durst and it makes me even more excited because you liked it too1 :) Great review

  17. Reply


    September 22, 2012

    I'm so glad you enjoyed Vessel. I've been looking forward to it for the longest time. I'm definitely looking forward to picking it up, especially on your great recommendation.

    Pica @ Pica Reads

  18. Reply

    Sara (of the Page Sage)

    September 22, 2012

    I loved Sarah Beth Durst's Ice, so I've been looking forward to this one. I'm glad you liked it! I haven't read Blood Red Road, but I'll have to check out that one, too!

  19. Reply


    September 22, 2012

    Sounds good. Ive read Drink, Slay, Love, but this sounds really different. Drink, Slay, Love wasn't very serious, but this sounds like it is. But that wont mean I won't like it.

  20. Reply

    Christina K.

    September 23, 2012

    This sounds so so awesome! Very original mythology and I love how it's not a traditional milieu:)

    Great review:)

  21. Reply


    September 29, 2012

    Sounds like a mixed review. I still have high hopes for this one. Sounds like the mythology is really fascinating.

  22. Reply


    October 5, 2012

    I don't know what I would do in her shoes! But after what they did to her I would fight too! It sounds different and I think I might try it out!

  23. Reply

    Jaime Lester

    October 11, 2012

    Vessel is on hold for me at the library. I can't wait to be able to go pick it up, take a pj and chocolate day, and read to my hearts content, while alternately closing the book just to look at the beautiful cover! Thanks so much for the great review. And for helping me make the decision about the pj and chocolate day!

  24. Reply


    October 22, 2012

    I loved Blood Red Road so this is great news! This cover is just so beautiful also. Thanks for another helpful review. Adding this book to my tbr.

  25. Reply

    Jaime Lester

    November 25, 2012

    So, I wanted to come back now that I have read Vessel so I could say WOW! Just Wow! What an absolutely breathtaking book this was. The cover wasn't the only thing beautiful about it. I loved Sarah Beth Durst before Vessel, but after? My affections are much greater. I can't wait to see what she brings us next!