VOYA Starred Review for Vessel!
I'm thrilled to report that Vessel received a highlighted review from VOYA!!!
VOYA, Voice of Youth Advocates, is a trade magazine for YA librarians. It has its own book rating system -- see graphic below -- but a highlighted review is essentially the VOYA-equivalent of a starred review.
I was so excited to see this and am overjoyed that people are enjoying Vessel!
Here's the review:
5Q - 4P - J - S - HIGHLIGHTED REVIEW
Durst, Sarah Beth. Vessel. Margaret K. McElderry/Simon & Schuster, 2012. 432p. $16.99. 978-1-4424-2376-3.
Liyana of the nomadic Goat Clan is destined from birth to be a vessel for the goddess Bayla. When her goddess and those of many other tribes are kidnapped by a vengeful citizen of the Crescent Empire, vessels bereft of their divine possessors are killed outright or left to die in the desert. Survivors have little choice but to track down the abductors to save their deities and reclaim a place in their clan. Also struggling to survive is young emperor Jarlath of the Crescent peoples, who are suffering through a terrible drought. Believing the magic of a far-off lake will save his people, he attempts to protect the empire at the cost of losing all the neighboring tribes to a famine. With sand wolves and giant worms, the folklore of the tribes comes to life as magic wielding gods and goddesses join the cast.
Vessel is a fast-paced, thrilling adventure set in a hostile world filled with complex clan feuds and strong traditions. Throughout the book, characters share stories of their clans. The storytelling culture is reminiscent of other peoples with strong oral traditions, like many Native American tribes. In addition to the unique history Durst has created as a backstory, the highly descriptive writing forms intense visuals for the reader so that characters, animals, and locations feel rich and realistic. -- Laura Perenic.