“Only the man who has known freedom can define his prison.”
― Catherine Fisher, Incarceron

A majority of the time I find that I am the giver of book recommendations amongst my friends and family. However, Incarceron was the rare occasion where I was the receiver. My sister discovered the book with an interesting premise and decided to share it with me before reading it herself. As soon as I read the description online, I had high expectations and wanted to delve right into the book, so naturally I purchased the book as soon as possible.

Since the day I’ve read it, which was over a year ago, it still remains a unique choice out of a large category of fantasy writing. Catherine Fisher weaves a story set in a futuristic world, with an anachronistic setting, where a kingdom has an invisible prison named Incarceron. To be more specific, I should say that the prison is hidden from view in an interesting and practically invisible manner. However, what makes this prison special is that it is alive. It can speak, think on its own, and controls whatever goes on inside of it. Those who enter it can never come out. The descendants of the original prisoners are trapped inside this prison even if they didn’t commit any crimes. They must endure a world filled with darkness and savagery.

Finn is among the people of Incarceron. He doesn’t remember why he is in the prison. He has vague visions of the outside world and his life before he was sent to Incarceron. On the outside, Claudia, the daughter of the warden of Incarceron, is metaphorically imprisoned because she is being forced into a marriage. Somehow, on opposite sides, Finn and Claudia come across a device that allows them to communicate with each other. Putting his faith in a complete stranger, Finn attempts to escape a prison that will do anything to keep him locked up.

Just the mention of a live prison is what initially made me decide to read the book. I hope you decide to as well.

Yousra Medhkour is Layali’s Reviews blogger. She is a senior at the University of Toledo. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of English, with a concentration in creative writing, and a minor in Studio Art. She spends her free time reading countless books, a hobby that nurtured her love for words. With this passion of hers, Yousra aspires to become a published author.

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