Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
It is recommended you read Incarceron before jumping into Sapphique. HEAVILY recommended. I’m not even sure if it’s possible to read this one before Incarceron. You’ll just end up being more confused.
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. (From Goodreads).
I’d have to say this book was a much better improvement than Incarceron. There was more action, the pace was quicker, and the intrigue was turned up a little higher to get the plot rolling. The action did make the novel go quicker although I preferred reading more about Keiro and Attia than Claudia and Finn. Although I used to like Claudia before, she seemed to morph into some sort of selfish spoiled brat who didn’t care much except her own needs. Finn also turned into a mopey brat that cared only for Keiro (which makes sense, but it was borderline obsessive.)
Despite the negative comments I see about Keiro (thoughout different websites reviewing Sapphique), I’d have to say he was my favorite character in this book. (Besides Jared). He had this undeniable charm and despite being a selfish, egotistical jerk, he wasn’t whiny and did not mope around like a twit. Although the majority of his actions were all to meet his own ends and he’s just as selfish as Claudia might be, there’s just something charming about Keiro that’s likable. I thought he was an excellent character despite his ‘supporting’ status. Finn may seem central to the plot, but he doesn’t shine as much as Keiro does.
There are different points of view in the story, unlike Incarceron where it switched from Claudia to Finn. Now, there a different points of view but this time it switches settings. (From being inside Incarceron, to being outside of it). It’s not so bad, although some readers may find it a bit confusing, and the flow of the plot does get bumpy once in a while. The ending of the book was interesting and does leave a lot of room for another installment. I wouldn’t mind a trilogy, as the story has taken a turn for the more exciting. I’d actually like to know what happens to Keiro next as he looks like he could be a catalyst for something big.
It was a great ending to the duology (although it looks like there might be a third?) and worth the read. The action helps the plot carry forward and makes the reading go faster. Some might be daunted by the task of reading another ‘chunky’ book. However with the fast pace, the action, and the bits of intrigue, reading this shouldn’t take long at all.
I give it an 8 out of 10.