Catherine Fisher is best known for her mythically resonant and highly original fantasy for young adults. Her most recent books include INCARCERON and its companion SAPPHIQUE, which are set in a sentient prison. INCARCERON reads like a captivity narrative set in a high-tech dystopia, raising interesting questions about technology, religion and social justice. Her newest series,Relic Master, returns to these fertile themes, but is set in the world of Anara where the mysterious but seemingly technologically complex Order is being hunted into extinction by the brutal, iconoclastic Watch.
In addition to guarding the relics, the Order uses what it calls "sense-lines" --- a kind of energetic grid woven throughout Anara --- to navigate and communicate with their world. Sense-lines allow them to sense danger before it arrives, to access visions, to connect to the source upon which they base their faith. But after an accident with a particularly powerful relic, Galen, a master of the Order, can no longer access the sense-lines. He has become blind to the mesh of energy that surrounds everything in their world and now must rely on Raffi, his inexperienced apprentice, to help guide and protect them.
This inexperience and blindness may account for their inability to sense that Carys, the girl who joins them on their journey, is a spy for the Watch. Telling them that she is traveling to the Dark City to rescue her father who was taken by the Watch, Carys gains the travelers' sympathy and trust. Little do they know that when they arrive in Tasceron, she plans to spring a trap, reporting them and everything she's witnessed along the way.
But Carys begins to have doubts about her own beliefs, inculcated by the Watch since childhood. Not only does she witness firsthand the power of relics, which she has been taught were nothing but superstitious nonsense, she sees how the Order cares for the people and how the people rely upon them. Coming to the painful revel