cover image Vessel


Sarah Beth Durst. S&S/McElderry, $16.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2376-3

In this powerful and melancholy fantasy, Liyana, a child of the desert, does not rebel against her fate as a vessel—a human whose mind is destined to die so that a goddess may occupy her body. Though Liyana is obedient, and her ritual performance is flawless, the goddess does not come, and her nomadic clan abandons her as unworthy. Unsure whether to try to live, she is still crouched at the empty campsite when a handsome, unearthly boy steps out of the sands. Korbyn claims to be one of the manifested gods and says that five of his kindred have been trapped, their rightful vessels left empty. He asks Liyana to help him gather the other vessels and right the wrong. Though this means death for her, Liyana remains dutiful and joins his quest. With strong folklore elements, a striking setting, and thoroughly imagined characters, Durst (Drink Slay Love) has woven a story that does not shy from the bawdy, violent, or pragmatic realities of life. Ages 12–up. Agent: Andrea Somberg, Harvey Klinger Inc. (Sept.)