Finn and Claudia managed to escape the insane prison Incarceron, but now that he is on the outside Finn doesn’t feel free. He thinks that the suffocating procedures of the realm are just as stifling as being trapped inside Incarceron. Especially since Claudia believes that he is the real Prince Giles and the heir to the throne, and he still can’t remember anything about his past. Then a man pretending to be Prince Giles comes to court and he knows things that Finn can’t remember. Now Finn has to prove that he is the real Prince Giles or be killed by the Queen.
Inside Incarceron Keiro and Attia are trying to survive the harsh conditions that are slowly getting worse. The prison is distracted from its true purpose—taking care of the inmates—and is focused on creating a body so it can escape. The desire for escape fuels the quest for the glove of Sapphique, a mysterious magical artifact that is supposed to help the wearer escape from the prison.
So,the sequel to Incarceron I enjoyed this book and found it entertaining. It won’t be one of my favorites of the year, but I really enjoyed revisiting the characters. I think my favorite character by far is Jared. For some reason he fascinates me. I think it is partially because he seems the most good-hearted of all the main characters, and he makes interesting stuff happen when he is around. I bet some will be unhappy about his fate in this book, but I am kind of pleased that he still gets to hang around. I was worried that his sickness was going to kill him, but the author successfully found a way to preserve him—at least in spirit. I found it interesting that we found out how fake the outside world was in this novel, and intriguing that it was so similar to Incarceron in many ways.
Yet, we never really find out why Prince Giles was sent to Incarceron, and some other backstory threads were kind of left hanging. The immediate plot and character arcs were interesting and satisfying, but some of the world-building and backstory plots were left unwrapped up. So while I really enjoyed hearing the end of this tale and more about the characters the book didn’t fill all the expectations I had for it. I sort of wanted the mystery parts resovled, but the author focused more strongly on the action-adventure plot lines. So entertaining to read, but not everything I wanted.