Kirkus Reviews QR Code
VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst Kirkus Star

VESSEL

By Sarah Beth Durst

Age Range: 12 - 18

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4424-2376-3
Publisher: McElderry

When a summoning goes awry, Liyana must try to save her people and learn how to live for herself, in this sweeping adventure.

Chosen as a “vessel” to host the Goat Clan’s goddess, Bayla, and abandoned when Bayla doesn’t come, Liyana finds herself alone in the desert. Korbyn, god of the Raven Clan, rescues Liyana and provides her with a purpose: find the four other vessels who are also missing deities. Soon, Liyana and Korbyn pick up stalwart Fennik (horse god Sendar), princess-y Pia (silk goddess Oyri) and angry Raan (scorpion goddess Maara). Besides the desert’s many dangers, the ragtag group faces the massed army of the Crescent Empire, led by a young Emperor and his malicious magician, Mulaf. The tribes need their gods to save them from illness, starvation and drought, but the gods need to possess vessels to work magic—an arrangement whose logic several characters begin to question. Liyana is self-sacrificing but not a saint; stubborn, loyal and curious, she finds new reasons to live even as she faces death. Durst offers a meditation on leadership and power and a vivid story set outside the typical Western European fantasy milieu.

From the gripping first line, a fast-paced, thought-provoking and stirring story of sacrifice. (Fantasy. 12 & up)