My Review: Incarceron & Sapphique

December 6, 2010

 

I’m going to be honest with you. I have no idea how to describe this series. And from what I’ve read, other reviewers seem to have the same problem. Incarceron and Sapphique are unlike any books I have ever cracked open. But I do know how to describe their author. Catherine Fisher is a genius. I am absolutely in awe of her imagination and talent.

The series begins with Incarceron. You must read it first, or you will find yourself hopelessly lost. The world in which these stories take place is so strange that even the heroes and heroines aren’t quite sure what’s real and what isn’t.

The saga begins with a boy named Finn who is trapped in a prison that’s a world of its own. Incarceron, as its known, is immense. No one knows where its boundaries lie. There are fiery landscapes, copper forests with razor-sharp leaves, nightmarish cities, and bottomless chasms. But there are no guards keeping the inmates inside. There’s no need for them. Incarceron was designed to monitor its own prisoners. It’s more than just a prison. It’s alive. And in the centuries since its creation, only one man has ever escaped—the legendary hero whose name is Sapphique.

Finn dreams of following Sapphique to freedom, but in his heart, he holds little hope of ever seeing the stars. Then he discovers a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl who claims to live Outside. Claudia’s father is the warden of Incarceron, and she’s long been betrothed to the future king of her land. But while her life is one of great privilege, she’s as much a prisoner as Finn. And the beautiful world in which she lives—the one Finn calls Outside—can be as dangerous and terrifying as the darkest chambers of Incarceron.

Finn and Claudia know they each hold the key to the other’s freedom. Claudia can help Finn escape from the prison. Finn can release Claudia from an unwanted engagement. But their freedom may come at a terrible price—the destruction of their two worlds and the deaths of all the people they love.

That’s my sorry attempt at synopsis. Believe me when I tell you that it doesn’t do these books justice. Incarceron and Sapphique are as rich, weird, and remarkable as Philip Pullman’s Golden Compass trilogy. (Three books other books that can’t be synopsized.) All I can say is, READ THEM!

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