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WARNING: This is book 2 in a series, so this review will contain spoilers.
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 he doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment?
Since I liked Incarceron I was really looking forward to reading this book. This book starts about 2 months after the closure of Incarceron which gave the Realm and the Prison some time to develop. From the start the characters felt different to me. I was highly annoyed by the arrogance of Claudia, one of the main characters. Despite being prison born herself she is highly inconsiderate of others. Finn, it seems, is only a means to an end; there was no real care for him, whereas I felt that Finn really did care for Claudia.
I had the same problem with the relationship between Attia and Keiro. Despite the obvious maliciousness of Keiro, Attia remained loyal when she had every reason to abandon him. Keito feels high and mighty, and everyone is supposedly indebted to him. I feel that he serves little purpose except reminding Finn that there are people in the Prison that need to get out.
So, characters that I had no problems with in book one where no not so likable anymore. I did however very much like the world of Sapphique. As I already mentioned in the review of Incarceron, the world Catherine Fisher makes is gradual and this greatly adds to the mystery of the place. Illusions and the art of perceiving plays a huge role in Sapphique, which means you have to pay attention as to what is real and what is not. This made the book more mysterious but also a little more tedious to read.
Overall I feel that this book is not as good as Incarceron. I did not connect with the characters and I felt confused at times about what was happening. Also, the shift in narrator that worked really well in Incarceron added to the confusion in Sapphique. But since I liked the world so much I still give this book 3 stars.