Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Claudia has been raised under Protocol. Her entire universe has been carefully constructed to resemble an age long past, with Era Court etiquette, doublets and dresses. She has been groomed to wed the Prince, and become Queen. As the daughter of the Warden of the great prison, Incarceron, she has been trained, educated, tested, and her will is steel. It is for this reason that she will ascend the throne, and overthrow Protocol. It is for this reason that she has worked feverishly with her tutor to discover Incarceron's secrets, the first of which lies in her father's study.

Incarceron is fabled to be a paradise: self-contained and self-sustaining. Its location is confidential, known only to the Warden. Only he knows the truth: Incarceron has been corrupted and has become a wasteland rife with poverty, disease, theft, and violence. Finn and his oath brother Keiro are inhabitants of the prison. Their lives are ruled by the Winglord of their Scum clan, a ruthless, greedy man who attacks other clans for profit and amusement. One day, he goes too far. A woman, Maestra, is taken Finn, who wishes to spare her life. She knows of the tattoo on his arm, the eagle, and is desperate to discover his past. She speaks of a key with the same markings. Finn is known as the Starseer, although he has no memory of his early life, he has fits and visions of Outside. He believes these are flashes of memory, and this key could be their way out.

Escaping the Comitatus with Keiro, Gildas - a Sapient who believes in Finn's visions, and Attia - a former slave, Finn begins his quest to find the door to Outside. Gildas believes they must follow the path of Sapphique, the fabled Sapient who escaped. Meanwhile, Claudia has infiltrated her father's study, and found a key identical to Finn's. With her tutor, Jared (also a Sapient), they seek to find answers...but instead find they can talk to Finn. The key enables them to communicate, and even to see each other. Claudia instantly decides that Finn is the long lost Prince Giles - thought to be dead, but instead locked in Incarceron by the Queen and her father. Could it be the answer to overthrowing Protocol, and releasing the prisoners of Incarceron? Together they work to find a way out.

Their path is fraught with outside interference. The Queen has plans of her own, and they must attempt to keep everything from the Warden. Incarceron has also discovered their goal, and will stop at nothing to prevent their success. All the while, the clock is ticking down to the date that Claudia is to marry Prince Caspar. Could Finn truly be Prince Giles? Will they discover a way to free him in time?

A fast paced fantasy thriller with great mystery elements, this is a must read. I couldn't put it down, and just as quickly devoured the sequel. Highly recommended.

"There was a man and his name was Sapphique. Where he came from is a mystery. Some say he was born of the Prison, grown from its stored components. Some say he came from Outside, because he alone of men returned there. Some say he was not a man at all, but a creature from those shining sparks lunatics see in dreams and name the stars. Some say he was a liar and a fool," (Fisher pg. 55, 2010).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Reckless by Cornelia Funke

Fisher, Catherine. (2010). Incarceron. New York, NY: Dial Books.


  1. This is an awesome summary. I got a lot of ideas from this for my suspense project.

  2. Keep writing these cool summaries