Vessel Book Review

Samantha Davis, Staff

Sarah Beth Durst’s Vessel is a riveting tale of true heroism and kinship among man. This tale follows Liyana, a vessel for Bayla (a goddess) who must unite the other God’s vessels of the desert to save her people and perhaps every tribe as well. With sorcery and creatures of myth Vessel is a fantasy tale that many are sure to love.

Vessel is one of my all-time favorites. As far as the fantasy genre goes, it contains memorable characters that left me with quite an impression. No character was the same, nor did each have the same value, in which most fantasy authors may find a struggle. Each character is diverse and unique to their surroundings with depth and their own reasons for their actions and choices. Liyana, for example, is a leader, even though she views herself as a mere follower, and her stubbornness and resentment of failure is bound to leave you with a sense of contentment, knowing that no matter what, she’s willing to make the hard decisions and move on. Much like Liyana, Korbyn, the trickster god of the desert is portrayed as a liar but in all truth, he and Liyanna are the same in their commitment to their people.

Another element of the story I really enjoyed was the setting; no date was given as to where in history the story took place. There were two diverse landscapes, the desert and the Land of the Crescent Empire. However, the uncanny resemblance of the two kingdoms reminds me of Africa, one a desert and another fertile soil, (which most authors tend to make their fantasy novels during the Middle Ages that are ripe with myths and legends) and the idea that this story might even take place on a completely different earth since we are not given any other clue than what the story tells us. But because of the name “The Crescent Empire,” I can only assume that Vessel might actually take place near Mesopotamia.

Vessel is more than just a great book; the kinship among Liyana and her friends that she makes along the way is a sorely needed aspect of the fantasy genre that should be brought back. Sarah Beth Durst made an absolute gem. I would have never had guessed the ending that unfolded, and it surprised me. In all accounts, it might seem cliche at first, but that completely changes. Vessel is a one of a kind. Anyone who is a fan of the fantasy genre should be pleased with and fall in love with it.