Book Review: Carve the Mark and The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth

Updated: May 6, 2021

By Chloe Olivia Sladden

*Beware of Spoilers for the Carve the Marks sequel, and The Fates Divide, later on,*

This Duology by Veronica Roth follows her best-selling, Divergent series. It has more of a science fiction drama genre than the dystopia action adventure of Divergent.

Carve the Mark and The Fates Divide are set in an addictive, amazingly detailed world for sci-fi fans everywhere!

It begins in a futuristic galaxy, made up of nine planets with different people, different governments and different lifestyles. The nine planets have peacefully co-existed for years, with few incidents.

However, both the Shotet and Thuvhe live on the same planet; but they couldn’t be more different. The Shotet, ruled by the Noavek family, are people of violence and war. The Thuvhe, with their favoured oracle (can see the future) and her family, the Kereseths, are the opposite, in that they favour peace and love.

In this galaxy, years are seasons and the invisible current forces flow through everyone in the galaxy, resulting in each person having a current gift that appears usually sometime in adolescence.

The lives of the Noavek and Kereseths families are shattered, as three Shotet soldiers come for the fate favoured Kereseths (meaning all the children have an unavoidable destiny). They come for isolated but light-hearted Akos Kereseth and his brother, Eijeh while their sister Cisi is able to escape. Akos is sent to the side of Shotet leader Ryzek Noavek, and soon counters Ryzek sister, Cyra Noavek.

Cyra is more moral and kind than her brother but is forced in fear of her life, by her brother to use her current gift on his enemies. This current gift leaves dark shadows in her skin and means her touch can cause pain, a gift she is forced to abuse against her wish by her brother.

When she meets Akos, fate favoured to die serving her, he reveals his current gift is not being affected by others, meaning Cyra doesn’t have to be afraid of causing him pain by her touch as he’s immune.

They grow closer, as Akos (while being tortured by Ryzek and trying to avoid his fate) teaches Cyra to make painkillers for her gift, and Cyra teaches him how to be a soldier, to be able to aurieve Ryzek. Cyras and Akos’ Fates become intertwined as an interplanetary war is soon looming over them.

*The Fates Divide spoilers start here! *

The sequel, The Fates Divide, sees Akos and Cyra deal with the aftermath of escaping from her home planet, Shotet. The pair, now a couple are travelling with the same rebels who helped Akos escape from Ryzek and who went back to help Cyra escape from her brother too. After the secretive rebels failed attempt to kill him as Cyra couldn’t use the gene code lock. Ryzek later dies by on the ship, just as Akos’ mother and oracle Sifa begins to have a more prominent role in this sequel.

Meanwhile, Akos’ brother Eijeh is captured, tormented by having dual personality oracle abilities as his current gift. Cisi, Akos’ sister is on board the galaxy’s planetary assembly ship with the chancellor and love interest Isae. Cisi tries to advise Isae to work with new Noavek leader Cyra and help Akos.

Everyone’s roles become harder as Cyras’ thought-to-be-deceased father Lamzet appears alive, and wanting to start an interplanetary war like his son Ryzek wanted. On top of this, complications ensure in Akos and Cyras’ lives as their relationship is tested, as both are willing to kill or die for the other. Not to mention finding they may have been switched at birth.

All parties must pick a side and be willing to fight to the death in this epic and emotional conclusion to this Duology.

I already thought this duo would be amazing, after reading Veronica’s Roth’s series, Divergent (maybe like Divergent, it’ll be made for TV/Cinema, sadly bookworms can only dream of this at the moment). You really begin to feel and relate to the characters, as the plot thickens with each chapter in both books.

The first book (Carve the Mark), switches between just Akos and Cyra’s point of view, whether as the second book (The Fates Divide) switches between Akos, Cyra along with Akos sister Cisi, and his brother Eijeh’s point of view, in some chapters too, creating even  more powerful dialogues.

The unique language of Akos and Cyra’s people and the details of this sci-fi, dramatic and interplanetary world that Roth has created makes for an enchanting read, slowly burning its way through the plot to great effect. Both books have elements of friendship, family, politics, propaganda, emotion, fantasy violence and romance that fit the duo sci-fi genre, but also are repeatable to readers as well.

Trust me, this is one duo you do not want to miss!

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