carve the mark

Book Review of The Fates Divide

fates divideI was a fan of the first book in this series – the one that followed Veronica Roth’s immensely popular Divergent series.

The Fates Divide continues the love story of Cyra and Akos, although this narrative tears them apart – for a while at least.  Now that Cyra has overthrown her brother, there is nothing that forces Akos to stay with her.  Confused and hurt by their responses to this freedom, the pair separate, only to be told that their fates are even more intertwined than they thought.  In fact, a twisted secret at their births ensures the two were destined to meet.

In the background, war is stirring.  While Cyra does not condone the actions and traditions of her people, she cannot see them conquered.  Not can she see them come under the power of Lazmet Noavek – the father she thought long dead.

There is tremendous character development for Cyra in this novel.  Now she is no longer ruled by fear of her family, her true character comes to the forefront.  She finds that she has a lot more to love for that she once thought.  There is also some interesting sub-plotting around Eijeh – the next Oracle who was servant to the Noavek family and questionably loyal to the family that has tried to re-embrace him after his captivity.

I’m not sure why this hasn’t been more popular – I think it’s a well-realised science fiction world with intriguing characters and the promise of more mysteries to unfold. Worth a try.

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Book Review of Carve the Mark

carve the markVeronica Roth’s Divergent series was so incredibly popular, that publishing a new storyline, especially one markedly different, must elicit some angst – for the author and readers alike.  And while I haven’t read that many positive reviews of her latest offering Carve the Mark, I ended up really enjoying it.

Much less dystopian than Divergent,
is pure science fiction.  It concerns itself with two peoples who live on the same planet – the Shotet and the Thuvhe – but cannot live in harmony. The Thuvhe live quietly and peacefully while the Shotet pillage and scavenge, and violent existence best represented by their tradition of carving a mark on their own arms each time they take a life.

Naturally, a young man and a young woman from each culture are thrown together and fall in love.  But its a little more complicated than that.  This is a galaxy with two particularly interesting features. Firstly, oracles make the fates of important people public – and this causes political manipulation to attempt to challenge or protect fate.  The second, is the energy source known as the ‘current’ which flows around them all, and gifts each inhabitant with a particular ‘currentgift’. Cyra, our Juliet character, can make others feel pain, but the cost is that she lives in constant pain herself.  Akos, kidnapped from Thuvhe by Cyra’s brother as he was fated to serve them, is gifted with the ability to block the currentgifts of others – and thus relieve Cyra’s constant pain.  Eventually they come to mean something more to each other than forced companions and Cyra is forced to confront her brother – a violent dictator – and take a stand for the rights of others.

There’s more to the story than this, including the brother of Akos who becomes a willing oracle to the Shotet and an underground rebellion.  Overall, I thought this was a well-realised fictional world with interesting moral quandaries and the beginning of a tasty story.  Definitely worth a look.