In a world with a solar system filled with planets, governed by a body known as the Assembly, there exists a planet with violence and a vicious ruler. In this galaxy, some are favored by fate and others are not. Some will discover their future, set in stone, at a young age. Everyone in this new world will develop a currentgift as they age, a unique ability for each person that is established to affect the future. As it is seen as a normal and blessed thing, most people benefit from their currentgifts. However, Akos and Cyra do not. On the same planet, Akos and Cyra live in opposing societies, countries that have been fighting for what seems like forever. Their specific gifts end up making them weak and exposed to those that wish to hurt them. Through a twist of fate, Akos and Cyra are pushed together in a situation that never seemed possible in this world. Akos, with a deep love for his family, hails from the peaceful nation of Thuvhe. Cyra, with a unsettling distaste for her living family, hails from the violent nation of Shotet. Akos’ currentgift keeps him safe, but all he’s ever thought about since he and his brother were captured by the Shotet’s is how he can escape safely without his brother getting injured.
Cyra’s currentgift brings her an insurmountable pain that her brother manipulates to his liking, but what he doesn’t know is she is smarter than he knows and she is done being his weapon. Will Akos and Cyra be able to work together to save their fates and establish peace on their planet? Or will they end up destroying one another?
Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth is a story in a new world that centers around two teenagers coming together against all odds to save their world. Veronica Roth pulls at many elements in Divergent and describes things that seem unimportant to the story, but help deepen the reader’s knowledge. By describing things like a broken chair in a corner to the smell of cooking herbs, Roth delves deeper into the story with the reader. This could have actually taken away from the story instead of adding to it, since it doesn’t directly affect the character’s and their future in the pages. However, by detailing the surroundings for the reader, the immense scope of the world the characters live in is unearthed and reader’s imagination are let free, to create vivid images of the world that they have just entered into.
Also as she did in Divergent, but more strongly, Roth allows the reader to slowly learn about this new world. A key thing in writing when creating a totally new environment is to inform the reader of details of the new world, so they can better immerse themselves and understand it. However, instead of just laying down the facts for the reader, Roth chooses to slowly tell them more and more details. It makes the reader feel immersed, as if they just walked in on the journey that is about to unfold in the coming pages. When authors choose to just simply write out the facts easily for the reader to understand, the reader feels more like an intrusion, more like the story is only happening for them, unnaturally. When Roth slides in information, about the new world, she is making sure the reader knows that with or without them, this epic adventure was going to happen no matter what. This helps the reader feel more involved in the story and allows them to consciously pick up on the simple sentences that describe how the government system works or how the current connects everything.
Carve The Mark is told from two point of views, Akos and Cyra, and through this artistic decision, Roth gives herself control over establishing the character for the reader. The reader is able to see how the character’s perceive the world and allows them to better judge the character from the inside, instead of just from the point of view of a main character. Roth often also has the two characters describe the same things. Allowing the reader to see how they differ in personality. For instance, by comparing how Akos describes the broken chair to how Cyra describes it, the reader can easily understand their personalities through their differences and their similarities. Interestingly, as the book unfolds and Akos’ and Cyra’s relationship strengthens, the reader can see their personalities slowly meld together. Going back to the chair example, Akos ends up describing it with elements that only Cyra would only notice. Cyra ends up describing the chair with elements and insights that only Akos would notice. By telling the story from two point of views, Roth allows the reader to take a stance on each character and by doing so the reader gains a little bit of the character in themselves.
Unlike the Divergent trilogy, specifically Allegiant, Roth takes a very important thing into account when writing from the two point of views. In Allegiant, Roth wrote from the point of views of the two main characters, Tris and Four. Each chapter from their separate perspectives was told in first person. In contrast, in Carve The Mark, Roth writes Cyra’s point of view chapters in first person and Akos’ in third person. This style change from Roth is a major one and gives off a different effect, although it was minimal. This change allowed the reader to know who the main characters were, as they were each significant enough to have a point of view, however it also established who the story is following.
Cyra, the one with the painful gift, ends up pulling Akos into her world. She helps Akos learn more about himself and helps him with the one thing he desires most. Writing from both viewpoints gives each of the characters equal importance, but through a careful and slight artistic decision on Roth’s side, the reader is given a better understanding of who the story is truly about.
Carve The Mark is a creative storyline brought to life through Veronica Roth’s words. Because this is a new world, the reader needs to be introduced to the characters that will be important and establish the story. Roth introduced about six or seven characters in the first chapter which becomes slightly overwhelming for the reader. Being thrust into a new world is hard enough, but it also became even more difficult to keep all the characters in order. For instance, one might forget that Akos is the youngest son of the Kereseth family because we were introduced to all of the children almost immediately at the beginning of the chapter. Understandably, Roth wanted to introduce the characters quickly so that the reader could get a better understanding and a vaster knowledge of the story. However, by introducing so much so quickly, the reader becomes a little overwhelmed, having to look back to remember the characters. In addition, because this was a new and unknown world, the characters had unique names. This was helpful enough, allowing the reader to better remember their names because they were different than the common names in our world. However, it also made the reading process more complicated. It was just one more confusing thing to remember in a new world with new characters and now new names. Although the first chapter was a little confusing, that was one of the only faults that really stuck out in the entire book.
Carve The Mark is an adventurous tale of two teens whose whole world rests on their shoulders. Roth takes her defining style from Divergent like how she describes things, the concept of writing from two point of views, and how she slowly lets the reader sink into the world she has created, but adds some new artistic decisions that make the story feel fresh and never ending. Veronica Roth’s writing has no loopholes unless it was by her specific doing. Her story telling ability is incredible and her imagination is never ending and more vast than one could imagine.
That is her currentgift. Her writing will undoubtedly get better as she ages. One can only wait for the next amazing and immense world she will create!
If you enjoyed the following books I think you will also enjoy Carve The Mark:
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
- The Divergent Trilogy
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