Sapphique 2008

Hodder ISBN 978-0-340-89361-6



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 Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don’t even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique.


As I neared the end of Incarceron I realised there would be a sequel, but I didn’t think it would make a trilogy. A pair of books was something I hadn’t done before, so I was happy with that. Sapphique picks up a few months after the earlier book ends, and I can’t say too much about the plot without giving things away. But maybe escape is not the same thing as freedom, and inside the prison a crazy magician claims to own Sapphique’s Glove, an object of great power that everyone, including the Prison itself, desperately wants.

Writing a sequel is a tricky thing, because there have to be little reminders in case people have forgotten things from the first book. But it’s also a wonderful chance to develop the characters and themes much more deeply.

I became really interested in Claudia’s relationship with her father, for instance, and with Jared’s terrible dilemma. And there’s the prison itself, a technology created by men, which is now alive and trapped in its own metal shell. As all our minds are trapped in our bodies maybe.

I love to play with ideas in my books, with echoes of myths, and metaphysical questions, and poetic snatches. But I hope none of that clogs or slows the story, because the story is always the most important thing.

Did he escape? For there is a rumour that is whispered in the dark, a rumour that he remains, trapped deep in the Prison’s heart, that the cries we hear are his cries, that his struggles shake the word.

But we know what we know.