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. Read more...
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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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-12-05
- Reviewer: Staff
Roth (the Divergent series) returns with a gripping space opera about two individuals who share a planet but come from very different worlds. Cyra belongs to the ruling family of the Shotet, a people wrestling for planetary power against the gentle, prophetic Thuvhesit. Like all people, Cyra has a currentgift bestowed by the galactic current that connects all living things, but hers is darker than most: she lives in debilitating pain, eased only when she unleashes it on anothera fearsome spectacle that her cruel, power-hungry brother often forces her to employ. Akos, raised among the Thuvhesit and kidnapped by the Shotet, has a similarly singular currentgift: his touch relieves Cyra of her pain. Forced together, the two become hesitant friends and unlikely allies as the simmering tension between their two nations reaches new heights. Roths worldbuilding is commendable; each nation is distinct, interacting with the current in ways that give insight into her characters motivations. Amid political machinations and forays into space, Roth thoughtfully addresses substantial issues, such as the power of self-determination in the face of fate. Readers will eagerly await a second installment. Ages 14up. Agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Jan.)
Veronica Roth returns with a new sci-fi series
In 2011, 23-year-old Veronica Roth’s debut, Divergent, set the stage for a series that would become a worldwide phenomenon. And while the series is ripe for obsessing, Roth took the story of Tris Prior to a shocking place—a place not every fan wanted to go. This unflinching pursuit of weighted questions carries over to her new duology as Roth considers faith and loyalty within a sci-fi setting. Carve the Mark is set in a solar system where a supreme force called the current flows through all beings, imbuing people with gifts similar to X-Men abilities.
The story opens when Akos and his older brother are kidnapped from their peaceful home in Thuvhe, in the northern part of their icy planet, by Shotet soldiers. The Shotet are an unrecognized nation of scavengers and warriors, and as their prisoner, gentle Akos (a win for Hufflepuff heroes) is trained as a soldier and charged with attending to hard-edged Cyra, the sister of the tyrannical Shotet ruler. Their friendship will change them both, but this is a world bound by fate, where kills are marked on the arms of killers. Loyalty to one’s family is everything, and it seems violence may be the only way to change that.
Roth’s cultural worldbuilding is meticulous and intricate, although explanatory passages slow the novel’s pace and names can get confusing. But Roth’s conjuring of religions, belief systems and language differences is well done, and her prose has strengthened with this new series. Diehard Roth fans will be rewarded.