Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Release: September 11th 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Mythology, YA
Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. She will dance and summon her tribe's deity, who will inhabit Liyana's body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But when the dance ends, Liyana is still there. Her tribe is furious--and sure that it is Liyana's fault. Abandoned by her 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. 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.
My immediate reaction upon finishing this book:
No. Just no.
This book is a huge mess. A mess, I say. The premise sounded awesome and unique, but what I got was a half assed, lame story that did not even meet the expectations it set itself, much less my own.
I'll start with the characters: Liyana, our heroine, is okay, I'll grant her that. She's not a bad character, she had a little character arc and a little development, but I didn't feel anything towards her anyways. No hate, no love. Which I'd say is neither good nor bad. However, every single other character made me ground my teeth. Korbyn is simply a weird, strange dude, also kind of creepy, Pia and Fennik are both stuck-up, arrogant assholes and I really don't know where all the "Pia was an amazing person" crap was coming from in the end, and Raan was also very weird. She was probably the one character that I came close to tolerating besides Liyana. The gods and goddesses were all extremely unlikable, dumb assholes as well, and I would have expected Durst to at least have different personas for her deities, but nope. Nope, they were all dicks and douchebags, every single one of them.
Now, the plot. What the actual fuck? I mean, it was all fine and dandy when they set out to find all the other vessels, and that was probably the only bit that was ever mildly entertaining, but after that everything just went downhill and spiraled straight into hell. The whole storyline with the Empire that came afterwards was unbearably fishy and ridiculous, and then we got to know that there are even more clans and deities than the alleged 6 we were led to believe were all there was until then. So, if those deities were not captured, why didn't they, much like Korbyn, know something was up and go help too? Like I said, it was all a bit fishy and incomprehensible.
AND THE ENDING? What the actual clusterfuck was that? That was simply absurd and ridiculous, laughable, it was... NO. I still can't believe Durst really thought it would enhance her story if she did a complete 180 and suddenly steered the whole story into another direction. Suddenly, Liyana loves the emperor and not Korbyn anymore and Korbyn leaves Bayla and.. no, but wait, it was never really explained what actually happened after Liyana did that thing in the Dreaming. This book is just messing with my mind. I don't even know what really happened anymore, or why, and I should not be this confused.
However, that brings me to another point, which was the romance. The sappy, cheesy and unbearable romance. Liyana has not known Korbyn an hour and already she's fawning over him, and it only ever got better later on when she started training magic and had other things on her mind. But even then, it was still a big part of the book and I couldn't stand the whole drama. And that with the emperor... what the fuck even. I'll never understand Durst on this.
All in all, this book didn't make me quite as angry as The Program, but I was still extremely mad after reading it. I have wasted precious hours on this book and its gratitude was being shitty. I was fooled by the many excellent reviews this book has gotten and the interesting premise, but I would never recommend this to anyone. Steer clear, is my advice. I really, really wouldn't spend the $17 on B&N for this.