Finn has escaped from the terrible living Prison of Incarceron, but its memory torments him, because his brother Keiro is still inside. Outside, Claudia insists he must be king, but Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don't even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique.
Hmmm. I'm really not sure how to review this one! Sapphique is the follow-up novel to Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. I have not been shy with my displeasure with the first eighty to ninety pages of this book. Completely and utterly boring for me. I quite enjoyed Incarceron, but it's sequel really had me struggling--struggling to form a connection to characters I once cared for, and struggling to form a connection to the story. While I very much cared about the characters and the conclusion of the first book, Sapphique really struggled to engage me and reading it felt like a CHORE for quite some time.
It's not all bad though... once I got through the mind-numbingly awful beginning, the story really picked up and I found myself remembering what I had liked about the world Catherine Fisher had created in Incarceron. The story became fast-paced and I quite enjoyed the frequent switches between POVs. I think it really helped the story along. We journey with the characters; Finn, Claudia and Jared on the Outside, dealing with the queen and an imposter to the throne, not to mention assassins and the Steel Wolves; and Attia, Keiro, Rix and the Warden on the Inside, as they race to the very heart of Incarceron to try to find their escape while preventing the destruction of the prison as a whole.
The blemish on this book for me is surprisingly not the slow and torturous beginning, but rather the confusing ending. I was left with the feeling of "huh" and I really hate to end a series like that. I shouldn't be all that surprised though, considering that these books are VERY out there and hard to imagine and visualize at times. I think this series could REALLY work for someone who likes these types of books, but I don't foresee it being a series I personally return to.