Sunday, May 16, 2010

Incarceron by: Catherine Fisher

      I've seen this book floating around the blogsphere with much anticipated buzz so I decided that I needed to give it a go. I went to the local library and told them so. In return they obligingly gave me a copy where I promptly sat down and dug in.
    Incarceron is a prison, one that is not limited by walls nor cells, it's inmates incarcerated indefinitely. The only one known to escape is saphique--A man who is to many a legend, to others a myth, and to many more the last flicker of hope in a damnable world.
    Finn, an inmate of Incarceron is marked with a curious symbol and plagued with flashes of visions that often bring on mind numbing seizures. At times the visions seem so real Finn wonder if they might actually be memories. Convinced that he is not from Incarceron and actually from the outside, a fantastical place many scoff at, Finn is determined to follow in the footsteps of the mystical saphique and escape to the outside. . .If there is indeed one.
    Claudia, the Warden of Incarceron's daughter finds herself poised for her impending marriage to Caspar, an insufferable spoiled nit wit. Claudia was originally betrothed to his older brother Giles, but when met with an untimely death Claudia found herself facing the next in line for the throne Giles's half brother, Caspar. Claudia being chiseled, refined, and trained for this marriage to royalty was learned and well versed in everything a queen would be: philosophy, combat, science, languages, you name it So that she would be prepared in every way to take the throne. Claudia does not believe for one moment that Prince Giles death was anything else but stone cold murder and is determined to find out the truth surrounding his death. When Claudia breaks into her fathers office, a personal triumph of skill that had before been an impossible feat, she finds a key that may unlock more than just a closed door but also maybe the answer to Giles death.

    Wow. I've known I've always been a sucker for a good dystopian novel but this, this was savoringly, heart poundingly sweet. The book starts off with throwing you right into action with Finn, his oath brother Keiro and their gang in Incarceron. You feel the grimy, gang riddled world and all bent hell the prison Incarceron really is. It's quite chilling--That prison world of Incarceron. Could you imagine an entire world that was a living breathing prison? No building or structure to confine the prison, but one that literally consumes the entire world? Talk about dystopia. Finn and Keiro are opposites, which is kind of ironic that they're oath brothers. While being "cell born" and living in Incarceron has made Finn a bit rough, he is still innately good. He genuinely cares for others, a trait that is all but fictional in such a hard forsaken world.

    I really enjoyed getting to know Claudia. Her tutor Jared was among one of my favorites. Claudia's character, while cool and distant under protocol is really sweet and caring underneath it all. She cares deeply for her teacher Jared and even for her father the Warden, although she is scared out of her wits around him, it seems everyone is when the Warden of Incarceron is around. Claudia's determination to find out what happened to Prince Giles brings out her loyalties to those she loves and uncovers truths that might question that love.

     Catherine Fisher did a seamlessly wonderful job weaving these two stories together. The book was originally released in the UK and just barley made it's debut over here in the states. The book hooks you and drags you along and then leaves you hanging on the edge trying to catch your breath, waiting for more. You'll shut the book look it over, flip through it, shake it a few times to try to make more pages and story come out--but then you finally have to come to terms that you will just have to sit and behave, albeit anxiously, for the sequel, Saphique. I believe FOX picked up the movie rights for this one, and I can only see great things in the horizon for this great writer.
    For a moment he seemed almost shaken; then he brushed an invisible crease from his silk suit and said in his changed voice, "Prince Giles rode out that morning without any of his usual attendants. It was a fine spring morning; he was well, in good health, a laughing boy of fifteen years. Two hours later a messenger thundered in on a horse white with sweat; he leaped from it and raced into the hall of the court. ran up the steps and threw himself at the Queen's feet. I was there, Claudia. I saw her face when they told her of the accident. She is a pale woman, as they all are, but then she was white. If it was an act, it was expert. They brought the boy back on a hastily made bier of boughs, their coats laid over his face. Grown men were weeping."

    Impatient, Claudia said, "Go on."

    "They laid him in state. Wearing a great gold robe and a tunic of white silk embroidered with the crowned eagle. Thousands filed past him women sobbed. Children brought flowers. How beautiful he was, they said. How young,"

    He watched the house.

"But there was something odd. A man. His name was Bartlett. A man who had looked after the boy from his earliest years. He was old now, retired and feeble. They allowed him in to see the body late one afternoon, when the people had left. They brought him through the pillars and shadows of the Chamber of State and he climbed the steps with difficulty and looked down at Giles. They thought he would weep and wail and howl with grief. They thought he would tear his clothes with agony. But he didn't."

    Evian looked up and she saw his small eyes were shrewd.

"He laughed, Claudia. The old man laughed."


Milli said...

Okay. This book HAS to be good! I've heard nothing but good reviews about it!

KIKA said...

:) I hear ya Milli, I hope you like it! I'd love to hear what you thought of it!

Morgan said...

I've heard awesome things about this book so I'm really glad you enjoyed it! Great review, defiantly going to have to put it on my wishlist.