Incarceron, the living prison, has lost one of its inmates to the outside world: Finn's escaped, only to find that Outside is not at all what he expected. Used to the technologically advanced, if violently harsh, conditions of the prison, Finn is now forced to obey the rules of Protocol, which requrie all people to live without techonology. To Finn, Outside is just a prison of another kind, especially when Claudia, the daughter of the prison's warden, declares Finn the lost heir to the throne. When another claimant emerges, both Finn's and Claudia's very lives hang on Finn convincing the Court of something that even he doesn't fully believe.
Meanwhile, Finn's oathbrother Keiro and his friend Attia are still trapped inside Incarceron. They are searching for a magical glove, which legend says Sapphique used to escape. To find it, they must battle the prison itself, because Incarceron wants the glove too.
My brain is broken. This book! I love books like Sapphique that are so crazy, I literally have no idea what will happen next. Okay, not no idea. I had twenty million ideas, and the craziest ones were just as plausible as the boring ones. This book has no limitations.
And Fisher chose the best story. A lot of the mysteries are purposefully left unanswered, which will cause some heated debates and discussions, I'm sure. (Let's have our own at the bottom of this post, below the cut!) But that's how it should be--we don't always know what is true and what isn't. People lie, people are wrong, and history is not always factual. But we, and the characters in the book, have to keep on fighting and trying despite all that uncertainty. Brilliant.
The characters are once more fascinating, if not wholly likable. They are simply too....real. They all have faults, they all have strengths. Most of the time I was cheering them on, but there were times when I wanted to reach inside the book and slap them around, forcing them to play nice. However, there is one character that stands out among the rest: Jared. He is, quite simply, awesome. Despite a terminal illness, he adventures and plots with the best of them.
Sapphique is the fantastic conclusion to Incarceron (reviewed here). Both are books that refuse to be put down, and both are highly recommended by me!
Five out of five talking prisons.
Release Date: December 2010
Reading Level: Grade 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: YPL FIS
Okay, now let's talk about Sapphique below the cut! Answer and discuss in the comments.
1. Do you think Finn really was Prince Giles, or did he deceive himself (or purposefully deceive Claudia) about remembering his past?
2. Was the Outside really Outside? Or was the whole world really part of Incarceron?
3. How much of Sapphique's story was real? Was there ever a man named Sapphique? Were there multiple people playing the role of Sapphique? At what point was Jared Sapphique--always, or just because he chose to be?
4. How awesome was this book?