“Honour has no place in survival" (Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth)
In a galaxy where all is predestined, two youths fight against their fate.
Cyra is the sister of the selfish and brutal tyrant who rules the people of Shotet. Cyra’s currentgift is a blessing and a curse. It gives her pain and power- something her cruel brother exploits. Only he knows Cyra’s dark secret, which he uses to mould Cyra into a blade at his disposal. But Cyra is more than just her brother’s weapon, she is smarter, quicker and more independent than he believes.
Akos is the son of a famed oracle from the planet of Thuvhe. Shielded by his strange and remarkable currentgift, Akos’ loyalty to his family is beyond limitless. But when he and his brother is captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is suddenly thrust into Cyra’s world of pain and deceit. Akos is desperate to overcome these hardships in order to get him and his brother home alive. But in order to survive, Akos must first trust Cyra and the secrets she holds.
Will Cyra and Akos help each other survive, or will they destroy one another before they reach their goals?
I absolutely adored this YA fantasy novel by Veronica Roth. She stunningly portrays the power of friendship and love in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts. When I read the blurb, I was a little bit sceptical. I believed it would be another sci-fi fantasy action novel. Yet I was proved to be wrong as it was well laid out but not without flaws. Akos’ character is a little strange. To be honest, his love for Cyra seemed forced and throughout the entire book, his character and character development are strained. His relationships with everyone else did not have as deep an impact and influence on me when compared to Cyra.
In “Carve the Mark” the narration is split two ways between the two protagonists. Cyra’s point of view is in first person whereas Akos’ point of view is in third person. Using this, Roth is able to make Akos and his thoughts seem distant and unconnected. She also allows Cyra and her thoughts to be compelling and riveting, seemingly full of emotion and reason. “Carve the Mark” seems to question one’s identity and focus on the idea of fatalism. The main themes for the novel are revenge, love, power, and corruption. Though these themes are commonly used in YA novels, Roth is able to interlace these themes into a solid storyline. These themes may be overused but Roth brings out the best of them within her writing. I would definitely read the sequel book as it ends on a large cliff-hanger.
Overall “Carve the Mark” was a delightful novel that I was unable to put down. Although slight tweaks could be made, it is still very original yet not too far-fetched. Those who enjoyed “Flame in the Mist” and “Strange the Dreamer” will like this. Personally, I would rate this 8/10.