Book Review: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.
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 the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.
Then Akos is thrust into Cyra's world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?*

I know I have been a bit MIA for almost a year, and I only have two words for you: grad school. That's a story for another time though. I have had the past few days off and finally got to read this beauty of a book, Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. Roth is best known (thus far) for her Divergent trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant), now all major motion picture movies. 

Carve the Mark was so much more than I thought it was going to be. Darker, smarter, fiery, and gritty. The adventure, heartache, and brutally honest and violent characters literally had me glued to the pages until 4 in the morning. Though some of the passion between the stubbornly fierce Cyra and alluring yet dangerous Akos was a bit predictable (a clear reminder of a Montague-Capulet predicament), there were quite a few mesmerizing and surprising plot twists. Roth's description of life, pain, and love spoke boldly about struggles people constantly face. I also absolutely loved that the characters weren't simply good or bad. There is no such thing as a person who is all good or all bad, and Roth did an incredible job writing multifaceted characters, people that live in that murky-grey area of life that we all know too well. Relatable characters like these are powerful because they show us that it's okay to not be perfect, as long as we are doing what we can. As Cyra, the leading, bad-ass lady in the book, says, "It's hard to know what's right in this life . . . We do what we can, but what we really need is mercy." 

Here's to hoping you don't lose as much sleep as I did reading this! (Or, maybe, I hope you do. It is that good, after all)


*Synopsis by Goodreads.com

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