Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

In a universe where everyone has a "currentgift," two young people with opposing powers must navigate their intertwined destinies.


"Carve the Mark" is a science fiction novel written by Veronica Roth, the author of the popular "Divergent" series. Set in a galaxy where violence and vengeance rule, the book follows the story of two young individuals, Cyra and Akos, who come from opposing nations and possess extraordinary abilities. As they navigate through a world of power struggles and conflicting loyalties, they discover the true meaning of fate and the impact of their choices on the universe.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview and Setting

The story is set in a universe where each person develops a unique currentgift, a special power that ranges from the ability to control the mind to extreme resilience. The Shotet and Thuvhesit are two nations constantly at odds with each other. The Shotet, led by the brutal and power-hungry Ryzek, is known for its violent tendencies, while the Thuvhesit strive for a life of peace and order. Cyra, sister to Ryzek, possesses the currentgift of pain, which she is forced to use as a weapon for her brother's gain. Akos, a Thuvhesit healer, finds himself captive in the Shotet territory, where he forms an unexpected connection with Cyra.

Main Characters

Below are the main characters in "Carve the Mark":

CyraA Shotet with the currentgift of pain, struggling with her role in her brother's regime
AkosA Thuvhesit with the ability to disrupt the currentgifts of others, who forms a bond with Cyra
RyzekCyra's brother and the ruthless leader of the Shotet, driven by ambition and a thirst for power
EijehAkos's brother, taken captive by the Shotet and subjected to brutal experiments

Summary of Different Story Points Over Chapters

Chapters 1-5

The novel introduces the readers to the Shotet and Thuvhesit, laying the foundation for the intense animosity between the two nations. Cyra's internal struggle with her currentgift and the burden it places on her is revealed, while Akos's peaceful life is disrupted when the Shotet invade his home.

Chapters 6-10

Akos and his brother, Eijeh, are taken captive by the Shotet, and Akos is forced to serve Cyra. The complex and evolving relationship between Cyra and Akos begins to take shape, as they discover unexpected similarities and shared experiences.

Chapters 11-15

The narrative delves deeper into the political dynamics of the Shotet and Thuvhesit, shedding light on Ryzek's ruthless pursuit of dominance and control. Cyra and Akos navigate the growing tension between their respective nations and the impact it has on their connection.

Chapters 16-20

As Cyra and Akos become more intertwined in each other's lives, they face increasing danger and betrayal. The consequences of their choices and actions reverberate throughout the galaxy, setting the stage for a high-stakes conflict.

Chapters 21-25

The plot intensifies as Cyra and Akos are thrust into a web of deceit and manipulation, challenging their beliefs and loyalty. The revelation of hidden agendas and long-buried secrets adds layers to the narrative, leading to unexpected alliances and betrayals.

Main Events

The main events in "Carve the Mark" include the capture of Akos and Eijeh by the Shotet, the gradual development of Cyra and Akos's relationship, the unveiling of Ryzek's sinister plans, and the unfolding of a galaxy-wide conspiracy that threatens the balance of power.

Themes and Insights


  • Power and Control: The novel explores the corrupting nature of power and the lengths individuals go to maintain control over others.
  • Identity and Destiny: Cyra and Akos grapple with their predetermined fates and the choices they must make to shape their own destinies.
  • Friendship and Loyalty: The theme of loyalty is tested as characters navigate conflicting loyalties and form unexpected alliances.


The narrative offers insights into the impact of trauma on individuals and societies, the complexities of familial bonds, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Reader's Takeaway

"Carve the Mark" is a riveting tale of two individuals from warring nations who find common ground amidst chaos and conflict. The novel is a poignant exploration of the human experience, filled with compelling characters, intricate world-building, and thought-provoking themes. Readers are drawn into a richly imagined universe that challenges perceptions of power, destiny, and the enduring strength of the human spirit.


Veronica Roth's "Carve the Mark" captivates readers with its compelling narrative, complex characters, and immersive world-building. The intertwining themes of power, identity, and loyalty resonate with audiences, offering a thought-provoking exploration of human nature and the impact of choice. As Cyra and Akos navigate through a universe rife with tension and turmoil, readers are taken on a gripping journey that leaves a lasting impression.

Carve the Mark FAQ

  1. What is 'Carve the Mark' about?

    Carve the Mark is a young adult science fiction novel set in a galaxy where everyone develops a unique power, known as a 'currentgift,' at a young age. The story follows two protagonists, Cyra and Akos, from opposing nations who are brought together by their shared destiny.

  2. Who is the author of 'Carve the Mark'?

    Veronica Roth, the author of the Divergent series, is the author of 'Carve the Mark.'

  3. What genre does 'Carve the Mark' belong to?

    'Carve the Mark' belongs to the science fiction and young adult genres.

  4. Is 'Carve the Mark' part of a series?

    Yes, 'Carve the Mark' is the first book in a duology. The second book is titled 'The Fates Divide.'

  5. What are readers saying about 'Carve the Mark'?

    Readers have praised the world-building, complex characters, and intricate plot of 'Carve the Mark.' However, the book has also faced criticism for its portrayal of chronic pain and disability.