Veronica Roth made her mark with the “Divergent” series and now is talking about ‘The Fates Divide’ which is the upcoming sequel and closure to ‘Carve the Mark’ which she had released at the beginning of 2017. In it, we continue to follow the story of teenagers Cyra and Akos who have overcome their issues and will now “fulfill their fates together.” Roth incorporates themes who are familiar with her previous work such as hope and resilience.
The two have had their fates foretold at birth and every step they take seems to bring them closer to their future even when they’re trying to escape it.
The first novel was a New York Times bestseller and landed praise from critics and fans though there was also a lot of controversy that racism was an aspect of this tale. We’ll get to that in a moment.
When talking about how she approached this installment compared to the first one:
“The more books I write, the more of a planner I become! I didn’t used to be, but I think the longer you go on the more you realize you can make it easier for yourself by coming up with a plan beforehand. I definitely had an outline, but it’s important to balance having a sense of direction with leaving room for spontaneity. You don’t always know what’s not going to work once it’s on the page. That was how I tried to approach it: If it wasn’t working, I had to be willing to change it.”
As to how writing this new duology was compared to working on the “Divergent” series?
“I think I was learning a lot as I went with the Divergent series, so I structured it in such a way that I had to reveal a lot of information in the third book and I also set up a couple things in the first book that were really hard to navigate in the other books. This time, I tried to do a lot more thinking beforehand. Even if I knew some things would have to change, I had at least considered some of those world-building questions and those plot structure questions. This time I felt more experienced.”
One fun part is that while the series is only two books long, Roth is really expanding the worldbuilding here by adding, a slew of new worlds!
“I wanted to send everyone to new worlds. There’s all these planets in this solar system and in the first book we really only see one. One of the most exciting parts of it was writing about Ogra, which was introduced in the first book as this shadow planet — it’s mysterious, no one has met Ograns, they don’t know how they live or what their world looks like. A substantial portion of The Fates Divide takes place on that planet, so we get to see how the shadow planet lives. That was really exciting. But on a bigger note, one of the biggest ideas I tried to tackle is what young women do with power. The book is so centered on not just Cyra but on Akos’ sister, Cisi, and there are all these very different young women. It’s very important to me because I think young women are portrayed a lot as being petty and shallow in pop culture. I don’t really see that all. I wanted to show how young women navigate difficult situations — not perfectly, but with more depth and more care than people give them credit for.”
Hints of racism were brought up with how the characters interacted in ‘Carve the Mark’ and it seems like tackling that was an essential issue in exploring these characters:
“You kind of touched on it in that question: They’re at odds. They’re born to hate each other. It’s not an exaggeration of what we experience in adolescence. When you’re at the age, you’re trying to figure out what your parents or your elders taught you that you want to hold onto and what you need to question or let go of. These characters have been taught overly simplistic versions of what each other is, and they have to create space for those definitions to become more nuanced and more complicated. For me, it’s capturing what I think is a universal teen experience — it certainly was mine. I was raised in a very white, wealthy environment and had to tackle my own questions about how the world really works as I grew up. It’s such an essential part of forming yourself as a person.”
Expanding on the backlash from ‘Carve the Mark’ Roth explains:
“Really, all the cultures and planets in Carve the Mark have blended origins, so every culture or group has a wide variety of representation. The only way that it really changed the way I approached book two is I tried to make physical descriptions very clear so there wasn’t the same confusion. Otherwise, I take these conversations to heart. I think they’re super important and I try to consider my privilege. But it didn’t really affect the world-building because the world-building that I intended was already there; it was just misinterpreted. It didn’t affect it so much, but I also really relish the opportunity to create these new planets, to show a little more of the galaxy so it’s not just one people against another people. It’s a huge variety of cultures and viewpoints. Hopefully book two just expands our understanding of the Carve the Mark universe.”
Assuming all of those aspects are able to get smoothed over, it sounds like we’ll have a fun read when the second installment is released early next year.
Are you looking forward to ‘The Fates Divide’? Were you angered by how some of the races were represented in ‘Carve the Mark’ or get where Veronica Roth had been coming from? Share your thoughts below!
You can pick up a copy of ‘The Fates Divide’ at your local book store or online when it is released on April 10th, 2018
Source: Entertainment Weekly