I recently picked up Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth. I absolutely love her Divergent trilogy, it’s one of my favorite dystopian reads. I went into Carve The Mark knowing two things: 1. Its takes place in space. 2. There is a controversy over whether or not this book promotes racism and slavery. I will talk about that towards the end but for now here are my thoughts!
Veronica Roth has this ‘thing’ with killing characters, I fully support this because it gives the story that much more depth and suspense to keep you on alert. So lots of people die in this book and that’s just fine. Her characters were well developed and strong and didn’t instantaneously fall in love. We follow Cyra and Akos along a journey with feuding colonies. It’s told in dual perspective which is one of my favorite styles to read in. Akos is from Thuvhe, a frozen area of this planet full of gentle and duffle people. While Cyra is from a more brutal and forceful colony across The Divide, Shotet. Their paths cross when Akos is kidnapped and forced to serve Cyra’s family. They develope a friendship and later in the book a romance.
The setting is in space and on the planet that both Thuvhe and Shotet are trying to dominate. This is where I was slightly disappointed because I had very high expectations for the setting. I love space and stories that take place up in the great unknown and I love to see how the authors interpret this setting differently. The author didn’t give as much detail when it came to the setting, the descriptions of The Current (their power source) were wonderful but other than that I felt like it was very basic. The author did put a lot of work into the political aspect of this book and how the societies function so that help soften some of the disappointments from the setting.
Now on to the big kicker, does this book promote racism? In my opinion, no. I can see how some people may get that idea but you have to understand, these are two completely different civilizations fighting to control a planet. They are at war. Did we all sleep through history when we talked about World War One? They are not going to be polite with one another, there is going to be name calling and property being destroyed because again they are essentially at war with each other, they are fighting for their home with societies that have never come to an agreement about anything. One of these colonies Shotet isn’t even recognized by the Assembly as a legal society because they just showed up one day! They are accommodating to Shotet religious and cultural customs until that can be established but that doesn’t mean they are being racist. I’m not saying racism is a good thing because it’s not but it doesn’t happen in the book. People are over interpreting things. The next thing: does it promote slavery? Yes, there is slavery in the book. I don’t believe it promotes slavery as the book takes place in a futuristic setting but the customs and ways of the societies are very old worldly. The people have traditions as if they live in the early 1800’s. And the only reason about Akos being kidnapped and forced to work for the Noavak family (Cyra’s family) is because his fate (predetermined by the Oracle and as far as we know unchangable) said that he was going to die in service to the Noavak family. If his fate was different I don’t believe he would be in the situation he was in. So yes there is slavery in the book but the author follows the plot of the story, they didn’t just desire to enslave the main character.
Overall, I gave this book a 4/5 stars because the story was well deveoped and for going into it knowing very little I was surprised and will definitely be picking up the next one. Thank you for reading my rambles and until next time!