3.9 161
by Catherine Fisher

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Finn has escaped Incarceron, but Keiro and Attia are still Inside. Outside, things are not at all what Finn expected—and both Finn's and Claudia's very lives hang on Finn convincing the Court that he is the lost prince.See more details below


Finn has escaped Incarceron, but Keiro and Attia are still Inside. Outside, things are not at all what Finn expected—and both Finn's and Claudia's very lives hang on Finn convincing the Court that he is the lost prince.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lauri Berkenkamp
Finn has escaped the living prison of Incarceron but has found that life Outside is not the paradise he imagined. For one, he can't remember his past life as the lost prince Giles; his betrothed Claudia is worried that he isn't up to the job of heir to the throne; the Queen is plotting against him; and the Portal to Incarceron has closed, leaving Finn's oath-brother Keiro and his close friend Attia still trapped. Meanwhile, inside Incarceron, Attia has discovered the magic glove of Sapphique, the only prisoner ever to escape the prison. Attia and Keiro steal Sapphique's glove from Rix, an insane magician, and journey through the many terrifying layers of the prison to find an escape route, depending on the glove to help them in their quest. Meanwhile, Finn and Claudia work with Claudia's mentor Jared, to find an access route into (and out of) Incarceron, while also contending with a pretender to the throne who remembers everything about Finn's past that he cannot. At the same time, the Clan of the Steel Wolf, a secret society of freedom fighters, is plotting to overthrow the rule of Queen Sia and force changes to her illusory Protocol. As Attia and Keiro travel through Incarceron, getting closer to the secrets of the prison that they hope will allow them to escape the prison's clutches, Finn and Claudia work together to keep the Havaarna kingdom from rebellion. Fisher's second novel is a complicated and compelling, blending the terrifying world of Incarceron with the beautiful, but ultimately equally terrifying, illusory world of Outside. Ultimately, the two worlds collide and all the characters' lives are changed in ways they didn't expect. While the novel is fascinating in its own right, readers will likely find this second installment quite confusing without having already read the first book. An understanding of the relationships between characters, the dynamics of life inside Incarceron, and even an explanation of the Protocol of the Outside world is assumed at the beginning of the novel, which will leave readers unfamiliar with the first book missing much of the depth and intensity. Even so, this is a novel that dystopian fantasy fans will enjoy. Reviewer: Lauri Berkenkamp
VOYA - Judy Brink-Drescher
Finn and Claudia were betrothed to one another as children. Now seventeen, they are soon to become king and queen of the Realm. But their kingdom is only a visage; in reality its surface beauty is maintained by the powerful computer Incarceron, where after the devastating destruction of the Years of Rage the Realm's inhabitants only pretend to live "in Era." Finn, on the other hand, grew up in an alternate prison world, also maintained by Incarceron and run by Claudia's father, the Warden. Now in the Realm and estranged from his friends, Finn—known as Prince Giles—is consumed with the mission of bringing them over and destroying Incarceron's hold. In order to do so, however (among many, many other things), Finn must prove that he is the rightful heir to the throne, which is difficult because his memory has been wiped clean. Many, including his stepmother, the queen, are against him, and now another has stepped forward claiming to be Prince Giles. In a race against time, where two worlds literally threaten to collide, Finn, Claudia, and their allies from both sides struggle to find the key that will ultimately free and unite them all. Sapphique is the sequel to Fisher's New York Times best-selling novel Incarceron (Dial, 2010/VOYA, February 2010) and presumably picks up right where the other left off. Readers will likely benefit from having read Incarceron first (this reviewer had not). That being said, one will rarely feel at a loss for not having done so—it would simply be helpful to fully understand some of the backstories. This well-written, fast-paced novel is quite the page-turner and is highly recommended for audiences from middle school and up. Reviewer: Judy Brink-Drescher
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Two worlds collide in Catherine Fisher's sequel (2010) to Incarceron (2010, both Dial). Finn has managed to escape the brutal prison, Incarceron, but is bewildered by the outside Realm that forces Protocal—living as though they were in the 18th century—upon its citizens. With the warden's daughter, Claudia, Finn races to prove himself a prince and assist his friends Kiero and Attia who remain inside Incarceron. Unknown to Finn, Kiero and Attia are determined to find their own way out of the prison. They join forces with Rix, a magician who holds the glove of Sapphique, the first man to escape Incarceron. The technology of Incarceron is in control and determined to use the glove of Sapphique to gain human form. If it does, everyone in the prison will die. Kim Mai Guest delivers a brilliant performance that manages to keep the complex plot and multiple characters straight. She gives each character a unique voice and expands their personalities beyond the written word. While the plot lacks the punch of the first story, listeners will relish this sequel.—Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK
Kirkus Reviews

In this dark, brilliant sequel to Incarceron (2010), worlds within worlds collide to mutual destruction—or, maybe, rebirth. Finn has finally Escaped the sentient prison world with aid from the Warden's daughter, Claudia, but escape hardly means freedom. As they struggle to negotiate the poisonous intrigue of the Realm and unlock Incarceron's secrets, their allies still trapped Inside seek a rumored artifact of the legendary Sapphique. For Incarceron has gone insane and is determined to Escape itself... Breathtaking worldbuilding describes two very different dystopian dimensions with surreal splendor and cruel artifice. The price exacted upon even the humblest characters is portrayed unflinchingly; yet the selfishness, deception and treachery of every protagonist does not prevent them from being painfully sympathetic and real. Even as the steadily ratcheting certainty of impending catastrophe keeps the pages turning, the sheer richness of the evocative descriptions demands that every sentence be savored. No conventional tidy ending is offered; the bleak conclusion glimmers from only the faint hope gained by revealing the truth. Not for everyone; but for those who can appreciate the interplaying reflections of lies, myths and memory, a modern masterpiece. (Science fiction. YA)

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Scholastic, Inc.
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