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Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (Book Discussion)

My first introduction to Catherine Fisher’s books was with The Conjuror’s Game, which I read as a preteen when I “worked” for the only bookstore in our town as a beta reader, helping the middle-aged owner select new children’s and YA books for the store. I was paid in books (probably a lousy deal, but I was over the moon at the time). Of the dozens of books I read for them, The Conjuror’s Game is the only one I’ve kept, and read several times. Catherine Fisher disappeared off my radar for a while, but, thanks to Google, when I discovered she had a new series available, I couldn’t wait to get reading.

Incarceron: Visiting Hours Are Over

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher from Amazon.comWhat determines the value of a human being? Is it their place of birth, or who their parents are? And what is a person’s identity? Is it a birthright? Or is identity open to interpretation, by manipulation of what others believe, or by whom someone thinks he might be? Can one identity be held by more than one person?

These are some of the questions posed by Catherine Fisher’s dark and mysterious steampunk duology set in a post-apocalyptic utopia and a vast sentient prison world called Incarceron.


Sometime in the future the years of Rage devastated the earth and moon and stilled the tides. Vast amounts of power are required to keep the earth functioning and there is a limited amount of power left over for the people of the Realm to use. So a plan was developed to turn back time and encourage people to need fewer resources by pretending to live in a specific bygone Era of history when there was no electricity and a simpler way of life. However, the wealthy were allowed some leeway and a few luxuries, such as washing machines, electric “candles”, and “skinwands” (a personal device that can erase wrinkles and small blemishes). The weather is scheduled around the royal family’s social functions. And everything is picture perfect down to the imitation cobwebs and the micro blasters that disintegrate the crumbs from a tea party.

Incarceron is available from:
Book Depository
(affiliate link)

The Conjuror’s Game is available from:


In order to ensure this perfection, and save even more power through a clever twist, all criminals (convicted or just suspected) and their families were rounded up and sentenced to imprisonment in Incarceron, where they and every generation of their families would live for eternity. Incarceron was built as a pleasant, benevolent place with counsellors, called Sapienti, who volunteered to join the prisoners and educate them, freeing them from violence and hardship. But Incarceron itself has gone mad and turned against its “children”, pitting them against each other and their environment in a desperate daily struggle for survival.

Claudia and Finn

Claudia is the daughter of the warden of Incarceron. She lives a privileged life in the Realm, betrothed to Caspar, the second son of the late King. Finn is a prisoner in Incarceron with no memory of his life beyond three years previously – except that he remembers once seeing the stars, now nothing more than a legend in the gloom of Incarceron. When he takes hostage a woman who recognises a tattoo on his wrist he sets in motion a series of events that connect him with Claudia and a radical plan for Escape.

Have you read Incarceron? Or other Catherine Fisher books?

11 thoughts on “Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (Book Discussion)”

  1. Stopping by on the 10th day of the #Challenge. Love the presentation of your blog. Appreciate the clarity and focus of the writing itself…the whole point, right? If you have time or interest, I am writing about gardening and related topics this month. Stop by if you can.

    1. Thanks for visiting, Stepheny 🙂 And thank you for your kind comments. I did want a cleaner, simpler site after my other website became rather unwieldy and cluttered.

      I will come and visit your blog shortly.

  2. What is the value of a human life? Society has all kinds of answers. Can we legitimately put a dollar amount on life? Interesting questions to make a YA audience think.

  3. I’ve never heard of this book before, but that cover! Oh my gawd, that cover! I’d have added this to my TBR list based solely on the cover, the background on the story just moved it up the list LOL

  4. This author sounds like one unsung hero, writing bravely on even though no one really talks about her. Thanks for sharing about her. I noticed you missed a few letters, but you’re nearly caught up now– please do L, M and N as well– no worries if you have to do a combined post for them.

    Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2014, My Latest post

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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