4 stars out of 5
The Carve the Mark book series by Veronica Roth is a duology. The first book is Carve the Mark while the second is titled The Fates Divide. I am becoming quite a fan of Roth’s books. I don’t love all her series’ but I do find interesting tidbits in every one of them.
If you haven’t noticed by now, one of my favorite parts about reading is their worlds. In the Carve the Mark series, the world is outer space-based. There are many inhabited planets within the solar system and ships consistently sail from one to another. It is a bit science-fictiony in that regard, but the rest is pure adventure and magic.
The magic of this world comes from a mysterious energy called the current. I imagine it as the aurora lights meandering the galaxy. Religions of this solar system center around the current and politics bow to them. Some focus their economy on hushflowers which bloom full of the current, while others are wandering tribes which follow the current from planet to planet. I find it really fascinating to discover more about all the different societies within such a diverse world such as this.
The magic comes in when people gain an ability reflecting their personality from the current at a certain age. The gifts range from the control of light, never feeling pain, or to stealing memories. What I find really interesting is that if an individual’s character changes enough, their currentgift will change with them. Character arcs have a whole new meaning then.
I am not a big fan of oracles and of those who can see the future. Prophecies are never clear yet always certain. At least they are in this world. And when an oracle decries the fate of an individual, there is no changing it. I don’t like the idea that you can’t control your future, but I like even less the idea of someone telling it to you. It would sap all of your life out of you. What would be the point in anything if you could never prove yourself better? Or vice versa, trying to live up to an impossible-seeming fate?
Writing stories that contain prophecies love to speak in riddles. Now, normally I love riddles, but not ones that mess with people’s lives. That’s just cruel then. So while I can enjoy the clever wordplay in books such as this that have grand reveals, I don’t love them. I get invested in the character’s lives and I hate to see them in such unnecessary turmoil.
I like my romance to be on the side of the story. It isn’t the focus of the plot, but life happens. Sometimes you find love in unexpected places and I enjoy that. So the first book, Carve the Mark, excelled at this. But in the second book, The Fates Divide, things get a little too lovey-dovey at times, and then the rest of the book is a lover’s quarrel. Action is still happening, but I can’t focus on that because I’m trying to figure out who’s side I’m on. I’m investing in the main character’s lives and am rooting for them to be together, but it pulls away from the rest of the plot. I would read a romance novel if that was what I wanted.
So, in the end, there are some clear things that I loved and disliked in these books, but the overall action and intrigue were pretty good. I was never bored and always fascinated. You’ll have to read them yourself, and I do think they are worth the read, to see which parts you enjoy.
This is a duology, a set of two.
Cyra and Akos are both trapped in fates driving them to each other and despair. An unlikely alliance may be their only hope for escape.
The worlds are thrown into intrigue and chaos as wars begin and end. In the center of them, Cyra and Akos fight their fates and the worlds.