I liked this one a little better than Carve the Mark. I think maybe because the world was more established and the complicated relationship between each character was more set. Also opening up the universe to new planets made and introducing more characters with darker skin as more than just warriors or brutal dictators also helped. That doesn’t make some of the character development any less problematic but I do think that Veronica Roth listened to the criticism of the first one and took that into account while writing this one. I’m also grateful that this is only a duology and not a trilogy. Knowing that this was the last book, I felt the pacing was better, the story more concise loose ends tied up. That being said, she did leave an opening to return to this world if she wanted to but I’m happy with how it ended.
The Fates Divide picks up right after the end of Carve the Mark. Cyra and Akos, along with Ryzek, Cisi and Isea and Eijeh have fled the arena and leaving the Shotet in chaos. With Ryzek presumed dead and Cyra leaving their is a power vacuum in Shotet that unfortunately gets filled by her once presumed dead Dad, who makes Ryzek look tame. If that wasn’t enough, Isea is grieving for her lost sister and using her Chancellor position to take revenge with the help of the Assembly. They also have those pesky little fates to contend with. They must all overcome all these obstacles and succumb to their fates but at the same time create their own. It’s tug of war. Cyra really comes into her own in this one. She has been told her whole life that she wasn’t worth it. She had a gift that could only bring pain and for that reason she pushed people away and expected people to disappoint her. Akos is rattled with guilt because he promised his dad to save his brother and that is almost impossible now. They both are way to earnest and way to self-sacrificing for my liking but it is who they are. In this one, we also get the point of view of Akos’ sister, Cisi and Eijeh. Eijeh who is destined to be an oracle but after years of torture by Ryzek has changed him but through him we see how the oracles work and how unreliable they can be. Cisi’s point of view gives us a glimpse of the other side of the Thuve and Shotet fight. The first book was only of Cyra and Akos and the Shotet. The Shotet are not well liked by and seen as pest because of their militaristic ways and constant scavenging. We can see how quickly things can escalate when you stop looking at the other side as less then they are. Our own hurt and pain blinds us to the hurt and pain of others and forces us to make rash decisions. Cisi tries to be that moderating voice before real a catastrophe happens.
Overall it was a good series that I enjoyed. I’m glad that the problems of the first book didn’t carry over to this one.