ARC Review: Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth10:00
Series: Carve the Mark #1
Author: Veronica Roth
Published January 17th 2017 by HarperCollins
On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?
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 from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, 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. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.
When I heard that Veronica Roth had a new series in the works, I was obviously interested. Though I still haven't read Allegiant - I saw the spoilers and didn't bother - I really enjoyed her Divergent series, and wanted to read more of her books. So, when I heard that Harper Collins were publishing the book in the UK, I requested a copy, and was lucky enough to receive one.
Carve the Mark is set in space, within a system of planets, where each planet has its own type of 'people'. Except for one. The planet of Thuvhe is home to the peace loving people of Thuvhe, but also the warrior Shotet people. They can't really live side by side, cohesively, and when Akos is kidnapped by enemy Shotet soldiers, he and his brother become prisoners. His currentgift - the somewhat magical ability many people have - is strange. He can remove currentgifts of others, and that makes him valuable. The princess of the Shotet people, Cyra, has a currentgift that is basically killing her. She is in chronic pain, always, but her gift is also useful to her brother, as it can be used as a weapon against any enemies. When Akos and Cyra meet, they realise that Akos can remove all of Cyra's pain, and he becomes her slave. Obviously, it's not as simple as this, and as they're combatting tyranny and prejudice, they fall in love.
I liked both of the MCs in this book. They had their own PoVs, and each was unique, and it was easy to see the difference between the two of them. They both had their own issues and hopes, and when they crossed over, they were there for each other. Because they met in tense conditions - obviously, as Akos was a slave - their relationship was strained to begin with, but they soon became closer and closer. I enjoyed seeing the relationship grow to friendship, and then more, as it felt natural, and not really forced, like you can sometimes find.
The story of the book was one that was complex, and developed, and I can see how the book has been offering more and more questions, to be answered in the sequel. The world building was great, and I felt like I could imagine what I was reading about in my head.
Update: since I read this book, I have seen the complaints about racism in the book, and I agree with those opinions. When I originally read the book, I hadn't personally noticed that, but since then, I can see exactly why there have been so many complaints. One thing I can say, is, it would have been extremely easy for the author to write this book without the racist aspect, and I don't understand how it was missed until a month or so before publication.