Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
(Carve the Mark #1)
Hardcover, 468 pages
Published January 17th, 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books

In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost.

Then Akos is thrust into Cyra's world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth's stunning portrayal of the power of friendship—and love—in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.

My thoughts…

I was one of the few people who did not read the Divergent series. After reading reviews for Carve the Mark, I held off on purchasing this book. There was a bit of controversy surrounding this series, I read the book and liked it. As for the racism issue, I did not notice any kind of discrimination/racism; not all Shotet are dark-skinned and not all Thuvesits are pale-skinned.

The novel is set in a universe where a literally flowing entity called the Current surrounds nine unique planets. It's a physical thing of immense power that people can draw upon.

Akos is from the peaceful Thuvhe, Cyra is Shotet, brutal and unforgiving. Their beliefs couldn’t be any different, nor could the difference in style of life. Shotet is unrelenting in its quest for power and dominance and pain is no stranger.

Akos, is taken capture by the Shotet's ruler, Rhyzek, along with his brother, because his brother has the power of prophecy. Cyra’s currentgift is pain. Cyra deals with pain all day, all night, no matter what. Her gift is more like a curse because it racks her body with constant pain. Until she distributes that pain into an unwilling victim, causing them pain so severe they would reveal secrets. She is numb to the power; her brother Rhyzek uses her gift as a weapon and to put fear in his people.

“I may be in pain, but I am not weak.”
― Veronica Roth, Carve the Mark

“I am a Shotet. I am sharp as broken glass, and just as fragile. I tell lies better than I tell truths. I see all of the galaxy and never catch a glimpse of it.”
― Veronica Roth, Carve the Mark

Akos’s currentgift is to nullify people’s gift. He can touch Cyra without feeling pain and ease her pain. When paired together they realize they can be an asset to one another. Neither is willing to put all their trust in the other, but they also don’t fight what seems to be a tentative alliance.

“I saw, for the first time, how thin the line was between fear and love, between reverence and adoration.”
― Veronica Roth, Carve the Mark

In the beginning I found it a bit difficult to follow along with all the character names and planets. At times it was a bit slow, my reading experience became better when I became familiar with the complex world, characters and the author's writing style, Cyra's chapters are in first person, while Akos's are in third person. Cyra was my favorite character, she was selfless and did everything to save Akos’s from her evil brother.

Overall, I am glad that I gave Veronica Roth the benefit of the doubt and I’m very much looking forward to moving onto the second book, The Fates Divide.

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