Libby's Reviews > Sapphique

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
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's review
Oct 22, 2011

really liked it

This is a rare find, a sequel that is as enjoyable as its predecessor. In the first book, our hero, Finn escapes the sentient prison, Incarceron. He swears to return and free his oath-brother, Kiero, and his friend Attia. But Finn finds that Outside is as much a prison in its way. If Finn expected to be greeted with joy as the lost Prince, he was much misled. Even his rescuer and supporter, Claudia, did not react as he hoped. Evil Queen Sia, his step-mother, wanted nothing less than his death. The Portal to Incarceron was seriously damaged so that he couldn't return for his friends, a false Pretender appears, claiming to be the real prince and accusing Finn of falsehood and Finn continues to have seizures. For Finn, this is an agony of fear, anxiety and broken dreams. For Attia and Kiero, still in prison, this is harsh betrayal. They continue to seek escape, but find danger everywhere, due to a famous relic, the Glove of Sapphique. Incarceron wants it, and knows they have it. As the prison is literally their environment, they face harsh extremes of weather, earthquake, floods and fire. For Claudia and the sapient, Jared, they face death as the penalty for remaining true to Jared. The Queen threatens to confiscate Claudia's home and execute her. Jared, who has a serious illness, is cut off from medical knowledge and deprived of his medication. All our heroes are in dire straits. They are forced to come up with cunning, bravery and fortitude. Catherine Fisher hustles her characters from danger to peril to hazard with some literary cunning of her own. The theme of illusion, of the masquerade, of the difference between what we want to believe and what is, is very strong throughout both books. From simple slight of hand to the elaborate technological illusions of the Protocol, nothing is as it seems. I found this entertaining, easy to read and a true example of the cautionary tale.

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