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The Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colours of Madeleine #2)

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The second in Jaclyn Moriarty's brilliant, acclaimed fantasy trilogy, THE COLORS OF MADELEINE! Princess Ko's been bluffing about the mysterious absence of her father, desperately trying to keep the government running on her own. But if she can't get him back in a matter of weeks, the consequence may be a devastating war. So under the guise of a publicity stunt she gathers a The second in Jaclyn Moriarty's brilliant, acclaimed fantasy trilogy, THE COLORS OF MADELEINE! Princess Ko's been bluffing about the mysterious absence of her father, desperately trying to keep the government running on her own. But if she can't get him back in a matter of weeks, the consequence may be a devastating war. So under the guise of a publicity stunt she gathers a group of teens -- each with a special ability -- from across the kingdom to crack the unsolvable case of the missing royals of Cello. Chief among these is farm-boy heartthrob Elliot Baranski, more determined than ever to find his own father. And with the royal family trapped in the World with no memory of their former lives, Elliot's value to the Alliance is clear: He's the only one with a connection to the World, through his forbidden communications with Madeleine. Through notes, letters, and late nights, Elliot and Madeleine must find a way to travel across worlds and bring missing loved ones home. The stakes are high, and the writing by turns hilarious and suspenseful, as only Jaclyn Moriarty can be.


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The second in Jaclyn Moriarty's brilliant, acclaimed fantasy trilogy, THE COLORS OF MADELEINE! Princess Ko's been bluffing about the mysterious absence of her father, desperately trying to keep the government running on her own. But if she can't get him back in a matter of weeks, the consequence may be a devastating war. So under the guise of a publicity stunt she gathers a The second in Jaclyn Moriarty's brilliant, acclaimed fantasy trilogy, THE COLORS OF MADELEINE! Princess Ko's been bluffing about the mysterious absence of her father, desperately trying to keep the government running on her own. But if she can't get him back in a matter of weeks, the consequence may be a devastating war. So under the guise of a publicity stunt she gathers a group of teens -- each with a special ability -- from across the kingdom to crack the unsolvable case of the missing royals of Cello. Chief among these is farm-boy heartthrob Elliot Baranski, more determined than ever to find his own father. And with the royal family trapped in the World with no memory of their former lives, Elliot's value to the Alliance is clear: He's the only one with a connection to the World, through his forbidden communications with Madeleine. Through notes, letters, and late nights, Elliot and Madeleine must find a way to travel across worlds and bring missing loved ones home. The stakes are high, and the writing by turns hilarious and suspenseful, as only Jaclyn Moriarty can be.

30 review for The Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colours of Madeleine #2)

  1. 3 out of 5

    Nomes

    Completely exhilarating and brilliant and breath-taking and funny and clever and unexpected. Also: so much fun and delight and some very smiley swoony moments. Jaclyn Moriarty is amazing and The Cracks in the Kingdom is on my all time ultimate faves list. A Corner of White was just the beginning. I loved it whole-heartedly (my fave book of 2012) and The Cracks in the Kingdom has taken my love for this series to a whole new level (is that even possible?) The plot cracks along splendidly. Whereas A Completely exhilarating and brilliant and breath-taking and funny and clever and unexpected. Also: so much fun and delight and some very smiley swoony moments. Jaclyn Moriarty is amazing and The Cracks in the Kingdom is on my all time ultimate faves list. A Corner of White was just the beginning. I loved it whole-heartedly (my fave book of 2012) and The Cracks in the Kingdom has taken my love for this series to a whole new level (is that even possible?) The plot cracks along splendidly. Whereas A Corner of White needed more time world building, TCitK takes off from the first chapter. I couldn't put it down, and trust me, I tried. I wanted to savour it and stretch it out and linger for a while but I was compelled to keep flying through, greedy for more, desperate to see where Moriarty would take me. And Moriarty delivers. For the mid series book, it really amps everything up -- and while it sets up the third book perfectly with some new complications, it still delivers with so many satisfying climaxes and resolutions to plot threads from the 1st book and 2nd. (no spoilers here but be excited, guys! So much goodness unfolds!) The way Moriarty wields all her threads together, she builds them and builds them into this stunning and startling climax, revelations and twists and unexpected flips. I did not see so much of it coming and the way everything unfolded was pretty much perfect. Moriarty is daring and genius. I felt exhilarated when I finished, breathless and giddy and silly and satisfied (except for wanting book three, the finale for this trilogy. stat.) TCitK is not just a fun, compelling and original, magical book. It's so much more than that. It has Moriarty's off kilter and gorgeous, grin worthy prose, but beyond that I feel like it's all real. I care so much for this Kingdom and the World. The characters have completely won me over and I have a deep and real affection for them. I've always loved Elliot -- " the boy who knew exactly how to make a girl feel like some kind of carbonated sugar drink was running through her veins" (p.382). And Madeleine grew on me by the end of A Corner of White so that by the time I started The Cracks in the Kingdom she was firmly one of my fave literary heroines and I love spending time with her. I also love a new character in the series "a kid named Samuel from Olde Quaint who's a walking panic attack." (p.78). He is so endearing and earnest and I laughed out loud multiple times at his try-hard ways (laughing in a nice way ;)) Here are a few highlights from the book: The letters are fantastic, charming and vibrant and a highlight (Moriarty is the queen of epistolary) The trip to the Lake of Spells (best camping trip ever!) The mystery of the 5 missing royals (so compelling and sad and suspenseful!) The whole mystery with Elliot's dad (some really awesome revelations and conclusions!) More science (so smart and interesting!) and more magic (of the quirky and funny and awesome kind) and more Colour attacks (love all the Colour scenes) Secret security and characters with hidden agendas (love Sergio!) The turquiose rain in Jagged Edge (another fave moment, so cool). Also, more travelling throughout the Kingdom of Cello (you se so much more of the strange and beautiful and unique world and it's inhabitants) (I actually have a lot more highlights but they all crossover into spoilery territory...) In conclusion: The Cracks in the Kingdom is one of the best books I have ever read, and The Colours of Madeleine is my favourite series of all time. The series is original and it shines so brightly with creativity and heart and humour and is everything I could ever ask for in the most ultimate reading experience. I so hope you give this series a go, and I hope it brings you just as much joy as it does to me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I really enjoyed A Corner of White, the first book in this series and made a point of obtaining and reading The Cracks in the Kingdom as soon as I could. Jaclyn Moriarty has a very distinctive style of her own which I suppose some people might not like. I however love it. Her words fly across the page and in no time at all the reader is aware of the worlds in which the story is set without long or tedious explanations. Her characters too just grow and develop with the story and by the end you re I really enjoyed A Corner of White, the first book in this series and made a point of obtaining and reading The Cracks in the Kingdom as soon as I could. Jaclyn Moriarty has a very distinctive style of her own which I suppose some people might not like. I however love it. Her words fly across the page and in no time at all the reader is aware of the worlds in which the story is set without long or tedious explanations. Her characters too just grow and develop with the story and by the end you really care for them. There is a lovely moment at the end between two of the main characters which would make reading the whole book worthwhile even if you did not like it much. I did like it though - very much! And now I discover that book 3 has only just been published. What great timing on my part. It is now on my Kindle, ready to start:)

  3. 3 out of 5

    Trisha

    This is an impossible book to describe. It defies convention, challenges preconceptions and ignores boundaries. So, of course, I loved it! Moriarty plays around with structure, embraces the ridiculous and celebrates the sublime. If you haven't read the first, get onto that!! If you have read the first, then be prepared for an epic ride of crazy, full-on madness. But there's still control here. Nothing is overdone, nothing overplayed. There is a number three, right? There better be. This copy was provi This is an impossible book to describe. It defies convention, challenges preconceptions and ignores boundaries. So, of course, I loved it! Moriarty plays around with structure, embraces the ridiculous and celebrates the sublime. If you haven't read the first, get onto that!! If you have read the first, then be prepared for an epic ride of crazy, full-on madness. But there's still control here. Nothing is overdone, nothing overplayed. There is a number three, right? There better be. This copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley, and received and read with gladness. Out in Australia on Feb 25, a month later in the US.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paula Weston

    I have much love for this beautifully imagined series. The worlds and characters are richly imagined, and the world-building (and the mystery of dual realities) so intelligently handled. In this second novel, the pressure mounts for Madeleine and Elliot to work out how the cracks between their worlds work. But even with the urgency to find and rescue the royal family, the story unfolds at a pace that allows time to discover and explore not just the Kingdom of Cello, but also the 'real' world whe I have much love for this beautifully imagined series. The worlds and characters are richly imagined, and the world-building (and the mystery of dual realities) so intelligently handled. In this second novel, the pressure mounts for Madeleine and Elliot to work out how the cracks between their worlds work. But even with the urgency to find and rescue the royal family, the story unfolds at a pace that allows time to discover and explore not just the Kingdom of Cello, but also the 'real' world where Madeleine faces her own challenges. I particularly enjoyed the whole 'scientific approach to magic' theme that is cleverly woven through the story, as well as the deepening friendship/fledgling romance building between Madeleine and Elliot. They have a shared curiosity for each other and their respective worlds, and share the grief of an absent father (albeit through different circumstances). They're also teenagers, and I love their faltering flirting via old fashioned notes (the only way to communicate through the crack between their worlds). There are some welcome answers in The Cracks in the Kingdom, and a fantastic and unexpected twist right at the end that promises even more in the next book. Oh, and the writing is again evocative, beautiful and imaginative.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Anna

    There's a wonderful moment in this book when one of the characters says something like "I'm not taking this seriously, I'm quite light hearted about it. But I am telling the truth". I can't remember reading another series that pays such attention to the subtle differences between these three states. This one truly is unique. The Cracks in the Kingdom follows on from a Corner of White and deepens it, uses the world to explore more and more truths, without succumbing to seriousness. And there are There's a wonderful moment in this book when one of the characters says something like "I'm not taking this seriously, I'm quite light hearted about it. But I am telling the truth". I can't remember reading another series that pays such attention to the subtle differences between these three states. This one truly is unique. The Cracks in the Kingdom follows on from a Corner of White and deepens it, uses the world to explore more and more truths, without succumbing to seriousness. And there are some truly lovely sequences, like the spell fishing one. My one complaint is that I felt it stopped a bit too abruptly, I'm not a big fan of cliffhanger endings, and this could have avoided being one it just needed a bit more resolution at the end.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Flor Méndez

    Ya me acordé por qué considero a esta mina una de las mejores escritoras que tuve el placer de leer alguna vez.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    The last few pages of The Cracks in the Kingdom are very compelling, but it's too little, too late. For the bulk of the novel, the story skates between predictable and poorly paced (when the predictable elements take too long to show up). The voice - Moriarty's trademark might the the originality of her voices - fails utterly, because too many characters as well as the narration employ the same voice at erratic moments. And so the quirkiness calls attention to itself instead of enhancing the sto The last few pages of The Cracks in the Kingdom are very compelling, but it's too little, too late. For the bulk of the novel, the story skates between predictable and poorly paced (when the predictable elements take too long to show up). The voice - Moriarty's trademark might the the originality of her voices - fails utterly, because too many characters as well as the narration employ the same voice at erratic moments. And so the quirkiness calls attention to itself instead of enhancing the story. That's the real problem with The Cracks in the Kingdom, actually: so much of it gets in the way of honest storytelling. Everything about the plot, for example, is telegraphed so openly. (view spoiler)[The Occasional Pilot, this novel's Chekhov's gun. Elliot's inevitable fight with Madeleine and their immediate reconciliation. Need an impossible-to-find spell in the Lake of Spells? Turns out it's not quite impossible to find. The royal family could be anywhere in the World? Somehow Keira discovers their coordinates without breaking a sweat. Can't infiltrate the WSU for a crack detector? Keira to the rescue again! (Now, on The Cracks in the Kingdom: Keira IS Sydney Bristow, complicated mother and all!) Yes, this is the story of a rescue mission - but maybe the story should be on a smaller scale, if the odds of rescue are so astronomical that all successes feel unearned, shoved into the plot because they need to be there. (hide spoiler)] It almost feels like Moriarty painted herself into a corner. The first novel was so ambitious and the challenges so enormous that allowing them to be solved with apparent ease and a sense of inevitability results in a mess of contrivances instead of a believable chain of events. Also, the science-and-magic duality goes from vague to completely unbelievable here. There's an attempt to show how science and magic are two sides to the same coin, but the suddenness of the discoveries - and the convenient timing - are so preposterous that it renders both science and magic unbelievable. The way both are hammered home, and the way both reach at meaning, too, as if pretty writing can mask contrivance which can mimic truth, is... almost insulting, strong as that sounds. What this book also has: teens who save the day because the adults are conveniently absent; friends who contribute nothing but faux-profundities and carryover from the first novel (which does all of them a disservice); a relationship that veers into "I forgot my name but still think you're beautiful, so clearly we must be Meant To Be." No thanks. The ending is gutsy, though. Especially if there's no sequel. Those are the only pages where the book tells the truth. Until those few pages, it's giddiness and odd turns of phrase and such a degree of predictability that, much as I admire those pages, I have to think that the WSU gets disbanded and they all live happily ever after. Sigh.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nafiza

    The Cracks in the Kingdom is everything I like in a sequel. The plot threads are picked up and the characters return with vigor and become even more colourful than in the first installment of the trilogy. This book focuses more on Elliot than on Madeleine and this worked well for me because the action occurs where Elliott is. Madeleine’s character was developed quite thoroughly in the first book and I think because the first book was so introspective, so focused on her growth as a person rather The Cracks in the Kingdom is everything I like in a sequel. The plot threads are picked up and the characters return with vigor and become even more colourful than in the first installment of the trilogy. This book focuses more on Elliot than on Madeleine and this worked well for me because the action occurs where Elliott is. Madeleine’s character was developed quite thoroughly in the first book and I think because the first book was so introspective, so focused on her growth as a person rather than external action, the pace of it lagged quite a bit. In contrast, this book is chockful of action. Elliot finds himself having to take part in the Royal Youth Alliance which is just a cover for the actual work the group is doing: retrieving the members of the royal family who have been exiled to the World. The Cracks in the Kingdom has Moriarty’s signature style of wit interspersed with such clever wisdom that I had to read a passage twice and even thrice to soak it in entirely. I love Moriarty’s turn of phrase and with this novel, she redeemed herself for me. Moriarty’s brilliance is character building; she manages to individuate each character so thoroughly that thinking of them as real people rather than fictional people becomes easy. No stock character tropes such as “love interest” for her, no, Elliot is fully realized as a person with hopes, wishes and flaws. I love the conversations he has with Madeleine and how he expresses his inability to comprehend her at times. Their interactions are a highlight of the novel and even when their relationship goes south, it does so in a believable way. All writers should aspire to write their characters the way Moriarty does because I know I do. The romance such as it is finally starts to unfurl. It is a small aspect of the novel though but a welcome one. The novel is mainly about relationships between parents and children. The themes of loss are prominent and along the way there is a definite flavour of bildungsroman thrown in for good measure. The Kingdom of Cello is wonderfully created and the new characters introduced in the novel are all, as expected, fascinating. I love the twist at the end of the book; it was unexpected but welcome. The book leaves the reader at a good point: satisfied but wanting more. I recommend this series to you, really. Stop reading about sparkly vampires and give this one a chance. It will ask more from you but it gives more in return. Strongly recommended.

  9. 3 out of 5

    Meli

    ¡Ay, Moriaaaaaaaaaaaaarty! Es muy genia esta mujer. Al principio me costaba agarrarle el ritmo, me parecía que se le estaba yendo la mano con los disparates de forma innecesaria (y lo sostengo), pero llega un momento en el que libro se pone insoltable. La recta final es un sufrimiento brillante, me gustó mucho. ¿Ahora qué hago hasta que salga el último? ¿QUÉ?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tara Calaby

    Sometimes it is good to be given books you've not specifically requested. If I'd seen the first The Colours of Madeline book in a shop or a library, I would've picked it up due to Jaclyn Moriarty's name, but likely put it back down again when I read the blurb and realised it was fantasy. If I'd done that, I'd have missed out on reading an amazing series. The first novel, A Corner of White, was a lot of fun. 'Quirky' is the word that seemed the best way to describe it, and the reviews I've read s Sometimes it is good to be given books you've not specifically requested. If I'd seen the first The Colours of Madeline book in a shop or a library, I would've picked it up due to Jaclyn Moriarty's name, but likely put it back down again when I read the blurb and realised it was fantasy. If I'd done that, I'd have missed out on reading an amazing series. The first novel, A Corner of White, was a lot of fun. 'Quirky' is the word that seemed the best way to describe it, and the reviews I've read show that I wasn't the only person to feel that way. With The Cracks in the Kingdom, however, I think the series has developed into something much more than quirky. It's moving and exciting and intriguing, and I often found myself torn between wanting to rush through the pages to find out what would happen next – and why – and wanting to take things slowly, so that I could really appreciate the language and Moriarty's great grasp of both character and style. Although The Cracks in the Kingdom is the second book of a trilogy, it didn't feel incomplete. There are still things left unfinished and questions left unanswered, but I didn't feel cheated, because it still read like a complete novel, with enough resolution to counter the loose threads. That said, I'm still going to be grabbing the next book as soon as I can get my hands on it – not only because I want to find out what happens, but also because I'm pretty certain that I'll be guaranteed a jolly good read. The Colours of Madeline is an excellent example of just how good YA can be when it breaks away from carbon-copy fads and finds its own voice and concept in the hands of a talented author. It's nice to know that I don't have to say goodbye to Cello just yet. I received a copy of The Cracks in the Kingdom from Pan MacMillan Australian, with no expectations attached.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Delaney

    Um what…JACLYN MORIARTY WHY DID YOU DO THAT TO ME?!!! WHY OH MY GOD MY HEART AND I JUST MY LIFE SUCKS RIGHT NOW UGH AUTHORS ARE EVIL. Picking up from the first book, Princess Ko is in need of getting her family back before doom will fall on the Kingdom of Cello. In order to do so, she makes the Royal Youth Alliance, gathering young adolescents, to help her. That's the basic plot going on. But there is also Elliot and his missing father and Madeline and her world. And also they try to cross over t Um what…JACLYN MORIARTY WHY DID YOU DO THAT TO ME?!!! WHY OH MY GOD MY HEART AND I JUST MY LIFE SUCKS RIGHT NOW UGH AUTHORS ARE EVIL. Picking up from the first book, Princess Ko is in need of getting her family back before doom will fall on the Kingdom of Cello. In order to do so, she makes the Royal Youth Alliance, gathering young adolescents, to help her. That's the basic plot going on. But there is also Elliot and his missing father and Madeline and her world. And also they try to cross over to each other's world…. Okay, this is going to be so hard but I am going to make this spoiler-free. It's so hard not to tell you what happens and I just want to and ADFJKALF--yeah. GIVE ME THE NEXT BOOK ALREADY! I swear Elliot and Madeline yes they need to kiss and make babies together--they are so adorable together and I love how comforting they feel in each others' presences. And they just so perfect they are my OTP all the way. I'm shipping this boat all the way. Lots of things are still unanswered about the cracks but you get loads more information about them and as ever the surprises just kept on coming and I loved it! You get a bit more like how you can pass through cracks or what happens when people in Cello go to the World (our world). You also get to see more of Cello! I loved that even though there is all these things happening, Moriarty still manages to make it a heartwarming, funny, and emotional read. My heart right now…it's in pieces. Now excuse me while I squeeze lemon on my elbow and see if I'm from Cello.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Amanda

    The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty is the sequel to A Corner of White. Set in Cambridge, England and the Kingdom of Cello, we once again meet up with Madeleine Tully and Elliot Baranski, two teens, communicating via a crack between their worlds. It’s been a year and a half since I read and loved A Corner of White and what was so wonderful was about the sequel was that I never had any issues with remembering what had happened or who the characters were, it all fell into place the moment The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty is the sequel to A Corner of White. Set in Cambridge, England and the Kingdom of Cello, we once again meet up with Madeleine Tully and Elliot Baranski, two teens, communicating via a crack between their worlds. It’s been a year and a half since I read and loved A Corner of White and what was so wonderful was about the sequel was that I never had any issues with remembering what had happened or who the characters were, it all fell into place the moment I began reading. The reminders and information included in this book were subtle and explained so simply, there was never an issue with time being wasted on lengthy, unnecessary descriptions. Hanging out with Madeleine and Elliot again was a lot of fun. Madeleine is wonderfully intelligent and curious, she’s always got facts and details waiting to be shared. Elliot is such a well-loved boy, by his family and community, always keen to help people out. Both of them are suffering from the loss of their fathers, yet each of them remain hopeful, supporting each other via their letters. It was such a pleasure to return to Cello, this magical world where colours take on shapes, where you can catch spells in a lake, where some people can fly. I wholeheartedly believe in this world because it feels like no detail has been spared, that if you were to ask the author anything about the world, she’d know the answer. The connection between Cello and our world is so clever and I never have an issue believing in what happens, it feels as real as day to day life. I found the plot completely intriguing, wondering if Elliot and Madeleine were going to figure out how to get through the crack, wondering if the Royal Family would return home, wondering who was going to turn out to be against them. Despite the length of this book (526 pages) there was never a dull moment and it was surprisingly quick to read. The ending gave me a pang of grief, there was so much to be happy about, yet some of the characters’ situations left me feeling sad. But, it also means I am already looking forward to the third book. The Cracks in the Kingdom is a magical, whimsical, spellbinding sequel that will not disappoint fans of A Corner of White. Thank you to the lovely people at Pan MacMillan for my review copy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    I really liked the first book in this series, but I absolutely loved this one, the second book. Because I already knew the characters, the worlds, the back stories, I could just jump straight in head first and let it all happen. I generally like books that have lots of dialogue and less descriptive language but this is not one of those. While there is fantastic language used in all conversations, the descriptions of what is happening, descriptions of the characters and the places are simply divin I really liked the first book in this series, but I absolutely loved this one, the second book. Because I already knew the characters, the worlds, the back stories, I could just jump straight in head first and let it all happen. I generally like books that have lots of dialogue and less descriptive language but this is not one of those. While there is fantastic language used in all conversations, the descriptions of what is happening, descriptions of the characters and the places are simply divine. I feel like saying this book is a whimsical, charming, clever scoop of strawberry and turquoise ice-cream, brimming with magenta pearls that explode into starbursts of inquisitive butterflies. Now that doesn't make any sense but at the same time, it makes all the sense in the world.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karyn Silverman

    Loved this even more than the first one.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Page

    I finished this book last weekend, and it's taken me a while to sit down to write a review -- largely because it took me more than a month to read, and I've been trying to put my finger on why. Other than general life busyness and the danger of reading hardcover books in bed when you're tired (ow), the obvious reason is that all the books in this series are quite long (and also heavy -- ow). This one is almost 500 pages, and maybe my attention span isn't what it used to be, but it just seemed lik I finished this book last weekend, and it's taken me a while to sit down to write a review -- largely because it took me more than a month to read, and I've been trying to put my finger on why. Other than general life busyness and the danger of reading hardcover books in bed when you're tired (ow), the obvious reason is that all the books in this series are quite long (and also heavy -- ow). This one is almost 500 pages, and maybe my attention span isn't what it used to be, but it just seemed like a lot. If you've read the first book in the series, you will know that the series is a parallel world tale where one of the two main characters, Madeline, is in England while the other is a boy named Elliot who lives in a magical modern-day equivalent of Earth that is called Cello. Moriarty puts a lot of work into world-building as far as Cello goes. Like, a lot. There are extracts from guide books, for example, and newspaper clippings, as well as the letters that the blurb mentions. They are relevant to the story, but gosh there are a lot of them! There were some parts of the story that dragged and -- despite the name of the trilogy -- they are almost all Madeline's sections. She doesn't have as much to do in the second story other than live her quirky life, post some letters, and be increasingly interested in Elliot, who is (apparently) forever unattainable. Elliot on the other hand is a very interesting character, as are the other members of the Royal Youth Alliance, Ko, Kiera, Sergio and Samuel. I far enjoyed reading about their meetings and efforts to rescue the royal family. That's where all the action in the book is. (Sorry, Madeline.) I realise this review might seem lukewarm, but I really did enjoy most of it -- hence the four stars! I went straight into the last book in the series, and I'm hoping I can get it done more quickly than this one!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shaheen

    The Cracks in the Kingdom is the second instalment in the Colours of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty. The first book, A Corner of White, swept me off my feet but its sequel took my admiration to new heights. We take up once more with Madeleine Tully of Cambridge, England, The World and Elliot Baranski of Bonfire, The Farms, the Kingdom of Cello as they exchange notes through a crack between their worlds. They must work together, alongside the newly formed Royal Young Alliance, to investigate The Cracks in the Kingdom is the second instalment in the Colours of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty. The first book, A Corner of White, swept me off my feet but its sequel took my admiration to new heights. We take up once more with Madeleine Tully of Cambridge, England, The World and Elliot Baranski of Bonfire, The Farms, the Kingdom of Cello as they exchange notes through a crack between their worlds. They must work together, alongside the newly formed Royal Young Alliance, to investigate the mystery of the cracks and find a way to return Cello's Royal Family to their rightful place. But things aren't as simple as they seem - the mystery of the cracks refuses to be unravelled, the Royal Family doesn't remember who they are, and Elliot's father is still missing. My favourite aspect of this book - and trust me, it's hard to pick just the one - is its characters. The protagonists are superbly imagined - Elliot and Madeleine fly off the page and straight into your heart. Elliot is a popular jock - all shiny smile and broad shoulders - who is a vital part of his small community. Even at fifteen, he commands respect and love. Madeleine is a displaced girl - brightly coloured and intelligent - who is learning to accept the new reality she finds herself in. They are tied together, not only by the crack between their worlds and their secret letters, but by the loss of their fathers. Their friendship is genuine and supportive, coloured by the first stirrings of something that could grow to be love. We also meet a few people, most notably Princess Ko. I'm a bit confused at the prominence she's given in the blurb, however, since it makes it seem like her point-of-view is included in the story. She's not a protagonist, but a lot of the action in the book either revolves around her or occurs because of her, so she does have a prominence. I admired her - she's tenacious but kind, dedicated but unapologetic. I also liked the other members of the RYA: especially Kiera with her sharp edges. The world building of this series is suburb. The Kingdom of Cello is a magical place where colours come to life and seasons roam the lands, where wishes can be fished out of lakes and dragons fly in the skies. But it's not just Cello with its Magical North and its Olde Quainte - Cambridge through Madeleine's eyes is just as fantastical and enchanting as Elliot's world where people can fly. And the best part? My return to these story worlds was eased by the author - I felt as though I'd never left! The Cracks in the Kingdom is an exquisitely crafted blend of contemporary and fantasy fiction that will delight fans of both genres. A wonderfully compelling story, it will have readers desperate for the next instalment, A Tangle of Gold. This review was originally posted on Speculating on SpecFic

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angela S

    I never reviewed the first book in this series (A Corner of White) because I had mixed feelings about it. The second book though --WOW! So imaginative and delightful. Not that the first book wasn’t imaginative as well, but this one really just pressed all the right buttons. The book has a contemporary feel to it mixed with J. Moriarty’s quirky prose, yet it’s a fantasy as well. Basically it’s about two worlds that co-exist in different dimensions- The World (where we live) and a somewhat magical I never reviewed the first book in this series (A Corner of White) because I had mixed feelings about it. The second book though --WOW! So imaginative and delightful. Not that the first book wasn’t imaginative as well, but this one really just pressed all the right buttons. The book has a contemporary feel to it mixed with J. Moriarty’s quirky prose, yet it’s a fantasy as well. Basically it’s about two worlds that co-exist in different dimensions- The World (where we live) and a somewhat magical kingdom called Cello. In the first book, the main characters, Madeline and Elliot find a crack between the two worlds where they’re able to send letters to each other. At the close of the first book, we’ve discovered that the royal family has been kidnapped and sent to The World. In the second book, Princess Ko, the lone remaining royal, recruits Elliot to help her get her family back. The characters in this book really shine - there’s Elliot of course, but new characters have been added. We see more of Princess Ko, who is a tough leader with a buried heart of kindness. Samuel is so funny - he’s from a province called Olde Quaint, he wears funny clothing like Old Irishmen, and every other sentence he speaks is a simile (which usually don’t make sense). Keira is also hard as nails and she’s from a province called Jagged Edge. She’s a night dweller, and also something of tech genius. Then there’s Serge, a stable boy, who turns out to be an Occasional Pilot (and no I won’t tell you what that’s all about). While the characters in Cello shine, they also way outdo the characters in The World. Which is unfortunate, because if this book didn’t have it’s magical elements then the characters in The World would be equally delightful and engaging on their own. It’s just that Cello is so much, that it makes you want to skip those parts where Madeline, Belle and Jack are hanging out. All in all though, I love all of these characters and can’t wait to see what they do next. If you love young adult fantasy and also contemporary, then you really must start this series. The first book is a little confusing at first, though still delightful. The second book will leave you itching for more. Dare I say it? Almost as much as Harry Potter. (There, I’ve said it.) J. Moriarty’s imagination is outstanding, and every reader ought to get to know her - even if it’s just to discover what the Lake of Spells is!

  18. 3 out of 5

    Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*

    "This world is made of more than particles. It's made of things you can't hold in your hand, like fear, love, loss, hope, truth. And maybe truths are like horses on a carousel. You could keep running around, trying to catch one, or you could just stand still and believe, and wait for it to come around to you." In this book, Madeleine and Elliot grow even closer as they continue to communicate between both their worlds. In the kingdom of Cello, Princess Ko continues to use Elliot's help to trace t "This world is made of more than particles. It's made of things you can't hold in your hand, like fear, love, loss, hope, truth. And maybe truths are like horses on a carousel. You could keep running around, trying to catch one, or you could just stand still and believe, and wait for it to come around to you." In this book, Madeleine and Elliot grow even closer as they continue to communicate between both their worlds. In the kingdom of Cello, Princess Ko continues to use Elliot's help to trace the whereabouts of the remainder of the royal family while in the World Madeleine learns about light and color and discovers a better possible way to perhaps travel between the cracks between the kingdoms. I absolutely fell completely in love with the first book in this series. The story was completely fresh and unique, and the writing was crystal clear and beautiful. So needless to say, I was eagerly anticipating the release of the second novel in the series and I was not disappointed in the least. It was almost five hundred pages of delightful storytelling and even further character development. Sometimes the second book in a series can suffer from the story dragging and bland characters but this was not the case in this series. I loved watching Madeleine and Elliot grow even closer. I loved learning even more about the Kingdom of Cello and learning the mystery between the royal family's disappearance. This is just an overall feel-good story that everyone can love and enjoy! There was the extraordinary rush of it, the warmth and buzz of each other's hands. It was like standing in the path of closing elevator doors and stepping aside just in time: the breeze of the doors still cold against your cheeks; the quiet power of an ordinary think like a door or the touch of a hand.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Drake

    Title: The Cracks in the Kingdom Author: Jaclyn Moriarty Publisher: Scholastic Release Date: March 25, 2014 Rating: 5/5 Cover Impressions: The digital image really doesn't do this one justice. In the physical copy, the colors are so vibrant and the raindrops and lightning keep your eye moving across the image. It fits beautifully with the first cover in this series, but I am still wishing for the parking meter to be featured on a cover - here's hoping for #3! The Gist: Madeleine and Elliot's communica Title: The Cracks in the Kingdom Author: Jaclyn Moriarty Publisher: Scholastic Release Date: March 25, 2014 Rating: 5/5 Cover Impressions: The digital image really doesn't do this one justice. In the physical copy, the colors are so vibrant and the raindrops and lightning keep your eye moving across the image. It fits beautifully with the first cover in this series, but I am still wishing for the parking meter to be featured on a cover - here's hoping for #3! The Gist: Madeleine and Elliot's communications through a mysterious crack between their worlds have been fun and exciting, but now their notes must take on more purpose. The royal family is missing, presumably transported to The World and Madeleine and Elliot have been charged not only with finding them, but with determining the science governing the cracks so that they can bring the family home. As if that weren't enough, Elliot must also travel Cello with the Royal Youth Alliance and endure tours and parties while trying to discover where in The World to start looking for the missing royals. Review: I shouldn't like this book. The characters are strange and some are completely unrelatable, there are long scientific diatribes that make little sense and the "rules" of the fantasy kingdom are near impossible to discern. I shouldn't like this book, but I do. In fact, I love it. It has a strange charm that drew me in and I ended up closing the book wishing for just one more chapter. Please, Ms. Moriarty, Just. One. More. Chapter. The rest of this review, and my parent/teacher advisories can be found at Reading Between Classes

  20. 4 out of 5

    Irena Freitas

    Gente! Gente!!! GENTE!!!!! Mas que livro extremamente maravilhoso foi esse, hein! Eu não sei o que tem na água desses autores australianos que faz com que eles sejam tão ridiculamente bons com figuras de linguagem, mas só tenho a agradecer. O texto da Jaclyn Moriaty é LINDÍSSIMO! E tão inteligente e engraçado e coeso que a gente não lê esse livro só pela trama e personagens (apesar de eles serem igualmente maravilhosos), dá vontade de continuar lendo só pra ver como a Jaclyn vai descrever a situação Gente! Gente!!! GENTE!!!!! Mas que livro extremamente maravilhoso foi esse, hein! Eu não sei o que tem na água desses autores australianos que faz com que eles sejam tão ridiculamente bons com figuras de linguagem, mas só tenho a agradecer. O texto da Jaclyn Moriaty é LINDÍSSIMO! E tão inteligente e engraçado e coeso que a gente não lê esse livro só pela trama e personagens (apesar de eles serem igualmente maravilhosos), dá vontade de continuar lendo só pra ver como a Jaclyn vai descrever a situação, tipo, quais palavras ela vai usar! Mas que narradora ótima. E que romance foi esse? Eu achava Elliot e Madeleine fofos e tal, mas não esperava que isso seria tão EXTREMAMENTE BEM DESENVOLVIDO!!! O desenvolvimento do relacionamento deles é tão natural (apesar de todas as maluquices que envolve esse livro), mas ao mesmo tempo tão desesperador, porque você vai ficando louca de preocupação quando um esquece de responder a carta do outro ou pensando que talvez eles nunca se encontrem porque eles vivem em UNIVERSOS DIFERENTES (literalmente, não é uma metáfora de um ser rico e outro pobre). 10001 estrelas pro desenvolvimento romântico desse livro. A forma que a Jaclyn também mistura mágica com física quântica também é ÓTIMA! Eu vi um povo reclamando que ela distorce um pouco as leis da física de verdade e tal MAS QUEM SE IMPORTA? O que interessa é que ela fala de um jeito que faz perfeito sentido no livro. Enfim, eu poderia ficar muito tempo adicionado o adjetivo MARAVILHOSO a qualquer coisa referente a esse livro, mas acho que vou me abster a dizer: LEIAM ESSE LIVRO! (A não ser que você não goste de twee, então não leia porque você vai detestar esse livro)

  21. 5 out of 5

    André

    This series is fluffy on the outside and so, so rich in the inside. The characters, the world, the prose, and the way the plot slots together like perfectly formed puzzle pieces are all absolutely beautiful.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emily Mead

    Much better than the first one! I'm really enjoying this series - it's like nothing I've ever read before.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    As to a curling iron in lip balm. Call yourselves my apologies if you don't know this, (I didn't lose my marbles, I'm just quoting one of the characters)... I read this book two days ago, and to tell the truth didn't know what to think of it. There was a buzz in the air...the buzz of disappointment. You see, I don't mind an open ending; but this one was a little too open for me. Higher the expectations, harder the fall. I went as far as to scrutinize the bottom of the last page (pg. 468) and the b As to a curling iron in lip balm. Call yourselves my apologies if you don't know this, (I didn't lose my marbles, I'm just quoting one of the characters)... I read this book two days ago, and to tell the truth didn't know what to think of it. There was a buzz in the air...the buzz of disappointment. You see, I don't mind an open ending; but this one was a little too open for me. Higher the expectations, harder the fall. I went as far as to scrutinize the bottom of the last page (pg. 468) and the bottom of "The Acknowledgments"( damn! no page number) ... because you know MAYBE I bought a defective copy. Mental relief came in the form of a few lines on Moriarty's blog: "The Cracks in the Kingdom, Book 2 in the Colors of Madeleine trilogy..." You see I've read "The Colors of Madeleine" under the silly misconception this was a duology. On Goodreads, there's no trace of that UNTITLED fake cover for a third book( not to speak of a release date *sigh*). I'm still not sane enough to write a proper review ... I'll just say with my newly acquired knowledge that the story doesn't end on page 468 of The Cracks in the Kingdom ... it was a great second book in a trilogy (I always fear the second one), and I hope my hair doesn't turn grey waiting for book three.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    Welllllll... Okay, so, I never quite got fully invested in this one. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for it, but in any case I found myself kind of disliking pretty much everyone in the book besides Madeleine and Elliot. I just didn't care about Princess Ko or her missing family. I didn't care about Madeleine's cancer survivor mother, or Elliott's missing dad. I didn't really care about Jack or Belle. For whatever reason, all those characters felt flat to me this time. It's not like this is a s Welllllll... Okay, so, I never quite got fully invested in this one. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for it, but in any case I found myself kind of disliking pretty much everyone in the book besides Madeleine and Elliot. I just didn't care about Princess Ko or her missing family. I didn't care about Madeleine's cancer survivor mother, or Elliott's missing dad. I didn't really care about Jack or Belle. For whatever reason, all those characters felt flat to me this time. It's not like this is a short book, and yet somehow it felt like there was too much of the stuff that didn't interest me and not nearly enough of the stuff that did. But most other people seem to be liking this one a lot, so maybe I'm crazy. All that said, I still love the way Jaclyn Moriarty writes, and there were several lines in this that I read over and over again because they were just so beautifully right. I'm not sure I want to read the next book in this series, but I'll certainly look forward to whatever Moriarty does afterward.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennavier

    This is such an unusual series. I would never think I would enjoy these books, but I do. The author is whimsical and unusual but somehow beautiful. The story dragged a little bit towards the end but it was definitely worth the read.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Kendra

    I love it so much. And I'm so scared and sad.

  27. 3 out of 5

    Monica Edinger

    Just wonderful. How long till the next?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Marie

    So happy that there's a sequel! I was worried that nothing would be resolved. YAY!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sai

    Emotional roller coaster. This book in a nutshell. Whew. Wow. I NEED THE NEXT ONE ><><><

  30. 3 out of 5

    Bernadette (The Bumbling Bookworm)

    This review was originally posted on The Bumbling Bookworm The sequel to A Corner of White, which I read last week, it's safe to say The Cracks in the Kingdom DOES NOT suffer from second book syndrome!  If possible, it's better than the first book in the trilogy, and I'm now almost scared to read the third book for fear it won't hold up (and also because I don't want this series to end!). I'm not going to get into this too much, for fear of spoilers, but this was even more magical whimsy than the This review was originally posted on The Bumbling Bookworm The sequel to A Corner of White, which I read last week, it's safe to say The Cracks in the Kingdom DOES NOT suffer from second book syndrome!  If possible, it's better than the first book in the trilogy, and I'm now almost scared to read the third book for fear it won't hold up (and also because I don't want this series to end!). I'm not going to get into this too much, for fear of spoilers, but this was even more magical whimsy than the first book.  I loved the adventure elements and all the new characters we came to meet.  There were so many twists and turns, none of which I predicted, and yet another cliffhanger ending which just about had me shrieking!  Such a good book, and I can't wait to see what happens next - 5 stars Check out the rest of my review here!

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