Review and Giveaway: Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
Sapphique is the sequel to Incarceron (my review), an epic fantasy by Catherine Fisher. I read Incarceron a couple months ago and really enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to read more about Finn the cell-born, Claudia the proud aristocrat, Jared the wise, Keiro the “oath brother,” and Attia the “dog-slave” girl not to mention the plotting Warden and the conniving Queen of the Realm.
Things don’t look good for those trapped in the heinous intestines of the world’s largest prison. Will the Queen win and obliterate Incarceron, damning its inhabitant? Or will Incarceron triumph and take total control. Where is the Warden? Where are the Keys? Does Escape exist? Who is this legendary hero, Sapphique? Does Finn even know who he is? Will Keiro’s bravado help or make things worse? If you’ve read Incarceron you’re probably dying to know the answers.
The characters are well developed and I enjoyed getting to know them more. Without his oath-brother’s presence, Finn is given the chance to step-up and prove himself. It was interesting to watch his development from tortured soul to commanding heir.
Claudia matures as she learns to see life through others’ eyes. She understands more fully that ending Protocol, the enforced low-tech aristocratic society, will mean her fall from luxury.
A new figure makes an appearance in the prison, the Enchanter. His role threw me a little and here’s why: I enjoyed the rational, “scientific” explanations for how the prison works and for how the Realm is run. As with most science fiction, there are devices that do amazing things – time travel, space travel, etc. – and the reader just accepts that they work, ya know? And I could accept how gadgets work in Fisher’s books, too. But the Enchanter brings the element of magic. Is it real, are we supposed to believe it’s real?
Mild Spoiler Alert: The asterisks below signal a spoiler-free zone.
Especially at the end, the explanations and loose ends were tied up with magic. I felt this was a cop-out and wanted what I had come to expect, a more “scientific” explanation if you will, for all the answers.
Ultimately, Sapphique was entertaining and a must read if you’ve read the first book. It did take awhile for me to become interested in the story again. But about half way through I began tearing up the pages to find out what the heck was going to happen! There are enough twists to keep things interesting. If you liked Graceling or enjoy fantasy with a sci-fi feel to it you might like these books, too.
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books, 2008 (UK version) Pages: 470 Source: I won this book!
Rating: 3.5 Stars Recommended Age: 12 and up
I'm giving Sapphique away to one lucky winner in the U.S. Click HERE to fill out an entry form!