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Monday, December 20, 2010

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

I ordered Incarceron months ago and it has been sitting in my pile of “to be read” books ever since. At the NCTE conference, I picked up an advanced reader copy of Sapphique, the second book in the series, and that pushed me to finally pick this one up. I am so glad I did! What an awesome read – unpredictable, suspenseful, and engrossing.

Summary: Incarceron is the story of two young people; Claudia, a pampered young woman who lives “outside” with her father, the Warden of Incarceron, and Finn, a prisoner within Incarceron who has no memory of how he became a prisoner, but knows in his heart that he came from “outside.” When the two find themselves in contact, Claudia becomes convinced that she knows who Finn is and they work together to help Finn escape the prison.

However, many obstacles stand in their way. Claudia’s father is determined to marry her off to a self-centered prince, the Queen (her fiance’s mother) is a scheming sorceress, and the Prison itself is impossible to find. Claudia’s one asset, besides her own persistence, is her mentor, Jared, whose wisdom and faith in Claudia keep him at her side throughout the story. Claudia has to try to solve the mystery of Incarceron while also navigating the murky waters of political intrigue that surround her engagement.

Finn’s biggest enemy may be the prison itself, which works actively to prevent escapes with its red eyes always watching its prisoners. Then there is Finn’s oathbrother, Keiro; brave, resourceful, and highly untrustworthy, even with an oath to bind them. Finn’s mentor, Gildas, dreams of escaping Incarceron, and believes that Finn is the one who will help him accomplish that – but Finn feels more like he is a tool to Gildas, not a person. Finn has visions – visions of the world outside – which Gildas believes to be messages from Sapphique, the only man to ever escape from Incarceron.

This novel is another great dystopian story – many layered without being confusing, compelling in its mystery.


Age Appropriateness:
Grades 7 & up

Areas of concern (content):
Foul Language: none
Nudity/Adult Content: none
Violence: mild

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