Vessel - Sarah Beth Durst

It's engaging so far.  I only intended on reading the first two chapters and then heading to sleep, but I managed to convince myself into squeezing one more chapter in to start the story where we know it'll begin.

 

Liyana has danced, the people have waited, and no goddess comes to displace her soul.  And thus, her clan is doomed because apparently they've left their fates up to higher beings.

 

I'm no the edge of my seat now and mostly, I'm recoiling a bit from how harshly the clanspeople are treating Liyana -- people she's grown up with and lived with her entire life.  She's spent her whole life training and preparing to sacrifice herself to save these people, ready to give up her life so a goddess can take her body and keep her people alive.  But then, when things go wrong and there is no goddess, people are so quick to lay immediate blame.

 

And then they abandon her.  I mean, of course it's her fault, they reason.  The old magician, Tula couldn't have possibly screwed up.  And since the people of the clan are so great, their goddess would never abandon them to die.  So, obviously it's all Liyana's fault.

 

I'm starting to think that compassion and common sense doesn't really exist among these people.  And we're only three chapters in.  And herein lays the question, though, if your society shuns you and leaves you to die so they can survive just because it seems like you've been deemed unworthy and useless, do you come back to save their asses in the future when you find a way to save the day?

 

Because obviously this is what her clan is expecting of her.  They're going to abandon her, but if their goddess decides to come to her, then she can return to the clan.  Except, by then she won't be Liyana anymore, but she'll be the goddess, Bayla.  How is she to know where to find the people who have abandoned her vessel?  And worthy are they of being saved?

 

"This is not about blame, and we do not act to punish," Chieftess Ratha said, her voice smooth but expressionless.  "We act only for the good of the tribe.  We will travel to Yubay without Liyana.  there we will dreamwalk anew and hope to discover the true vessel."

 

I'm... not quite certain the Chieftess sees the contradiction in her own words.

 

But whatever.  For all these people know, maybe the goddess is testing them and their clan spirit.  How well do you guys respond under pressure when it seems like life may be over?

 

Obviously, it's abandon your own to die.  If that's not what she intended, then you people have failed immensely.

 

I'm sure there are legitimate reasons for shunning Liyana, but right now, I'm still kind of reeling from the harsh treatment.  And I'm hoping that with this, the story can get into "Liyana saves the world" territory and she can come back and rub her success in her clanspeople's faces.

 

That is what I'm looking forward to.

 

Well, that's not all I'm looking forward to.  

 

The writing and the description in this book so far is beautifully done.  The small anecdotes of legends and tales and Liyana's strange sense of humor bode well for my enjoyment of the story so far.  The tale about the spider that Liyana tells her little brother is gold!

 

I'm excited to see where the rest of the story goes and find out what has happened to the goddess and how Liyana will save the day, as the summary intends.