In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love. 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.Vessel is a unique YA tale which had me captivated from the beginning. We meet Liyana who is destined to give up her body to a goddess. Her goal is to go into the Dreaming while the goddess Bayla lives on. Something goes wrong and the goddess doesn't come. She is left out in the desert to die while the clan moves to another location in hopes of finding a more worthy vessel.
As we first meet Liyana, we wonder how anyone could give up their life even when it is for the good of the clan. We understand that the clan is going under hard times and the goddess would make things so much easier. However, we are still caught in the selfishness in wanting to keep living and hoping that Liyana gets that chance. As we travel with her and Korbyn, the trickster god, who seems to know what has happened we find ourselves with a deeper understanding as to why it is important for vessels to exist and why they must give their lives for the task. It does not mean that we don't wish another outcome, but the blinders are now off and we understand Liyana's journey that will end in her death.
I fully expected to not like Korbyn. After all, he is a trickster by nature, but within this journey we find someone that can think and feel deeply. We root for Korbyn and Liyana even though we know it would never work. Korbyn is a god and Liyana is only human.
We also meet the emperor. One we suspect has something to do with the missing deities, but we don't know how or even are we sure what he has to do with it all. I did find him arrogant and infantile at first and his character did grow, but I have to admit, it didn't feel organic to me. I just didn't get the emperor and I would have to say was my biggest problem in this story. I think I needed to know more about him and really get connected to his character for me to believe his growth. It just didn't happen for me.
I give this book 4 stars. It is a wonderful unique journey and vision. It was a read I had a hard time putting down because I wanted to know what happens next. I recommend this to anyone wanting something different and engaging. It's a good fantasy adventure about a woman who makes her own path.
I received this book from the publisher and no compensation for my review was given.