Jennifer Wardrip's Reviews > Incarceron

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
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's review
Aug 20, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: trt-posted-reviews, read-by-other-reviewers

Reviewed by Amber Gibson for

Above all, Time is forbidden. From now on nothing will change.

After the Years of Rage, King Endor's Decree bans progress, pausing the world in an old-fashioned era of medieval dress and travel by horse-drawn carriage. Though advanced technology exists, it is expressly forbidden, and everyone must abide to Protocol.

Incarceron is an exception to this rule. A prison that some are born into and that nobody ever escapes, Incarceron is not a building, but an entire underground network of cities and wilderness entrapping prisoners in its vastness. Most prisoners have never seen the Outside and can only imagine what the stars and sky might be like. Surely more spectacular than Incarceron's Lightson and Lightsoff.

Finn believes that he came from Outside. Though he cannot remember a previous life, his mysterious seizures and visions hint that he was not always an Incarceron captive. When he discovers a mystical crystal key through a tragic turn of events, he just knows that the key will lead them to Escape from the treacherous clutches of Incarceron once and for all.

A duplicate of the key that Finn found belongs to the Warden of Incarceron. He lives on the Outside and is thrilled that his daughter, Claudia, is about to wed Caspar, heir to the throne. After years of scheming and social climbing, he will finally have the power that he craves.

Claudia, while groomed since birth to be a queen, is not merely her father's puppet. With a mind of her own, and no intention to marry the arrogant Caspar, Claudia pines for the one to whom she was first betrothed - Giles. Giles was the prince and heir to the throne before his unexpected death while riding alone. An investigation was never officially undertaken, but Claudia has always suspected that the new queen, Sia, played a role in Giles' death so that her son, Caspar, could ascend to the throne.

Refusing to be pawns in a royal power struggle, both Claudia and Finn are determined to uncover Incarceron's secrets. What they don't count on, though, is that Incarceron is not just a prison. Incarceron is alive.

Catherine Fisher creates a fantasy world unlike any other, playing upon classic themes of courage, justice, and truth to weave a page-turning adventure tale. INCARCERON reminds me strongly of Orwell's 1984 with a fantastical twist. Fisher's plot twists are clever and her ambiguous ending leaves the reader craving more. Look for the sequel, SAPPHIQUE, soon.
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Comments (showing 1-2)

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Rita Webb I really liked your review. It sounds fascinating.

message 1: by J. (new)

J. It's a great book. I really enjoyed the writing and the story.

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