The Cracks in the Kingdom (Hardcover)

Book 2 of The Colors of Madeleine

By Jaclyn Moriarty

Arthur A. Levine Books, 9780545397384, 480pp.

Publication Date: March 25, 2014

Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (5/19/2015)

List Price: 18.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

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.


About the Author

Jaclyn Moriarty is the award-winning author of The Year of Secret Assignments, The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, The Ghosts of Ashbury High, The Spell Book of Listen Taylor, and the Colors of Madeleine trilogy. A former media and entertainment lawyer, Jaclyn grew up in Sydney, Australia, lived in the United States, Canada, and UK, and now lives in Sydney again. She is very fond of chocolate, blueberries, and sleep.


Praise For The Cracks in the Kingdom: Book 2 of The Colors of Madeleine

Praise for The Cracks in the Kingdom:

* "Madcap, whimsical, smart and even heartbreaking... Even better than the first." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Full of clever invention and intrigue, excellent surprises... and all the sophisticated wit Moriarty's fans expect." -- Horn Book, starred review

* "Readers will be clamoring for the next title after the thrilling yet satisfying conclusion." -- School Library Journal, starred review


Praise for A Corner of White:

A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Horn Book Fanfare Book

"Jaclyn Moriarty makes me laugh, hysterically -- and cry, unexpectedly... Startlingly original fantasy." -- E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars

"A marvelous novel -- in every sense of the word... A Corner of White slips through a previously unnoticed crack in the reader's heart and changes everything." -- Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches

* "Quirky, charming, funny, sad: another winner from this always-surprising author." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Irresistible characters help readers navigate a tantalizingly complex plot that will leave them eagerly awaiting the next book." -- Horn Book, starred review

* "In this lovely fantasy... mysteries abound." -- School Library Journal, starred review

* "[A] genre-blending feat of stylistic energy... The plotting is as innovative and riveting as the world-making." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review


Kirkus Starred Review
Moriarty’s latest draws this world and Cello ever closer.

Picking up just after the revelations that ended A Corner of White (2013) and ratcheting the stakes up even higher, this middle volume moves from a balance between Madeleine, in our world, and Elliot, in Cello (which is kind of fairyland, but stranger and more modern), to a tighter focus on Elliot and Cello’s political situation. Elliot has teamed up with the seemingly airheaded but actually ruthless Princess Ko and the Royal Youth Alliance in search of the abducted royal family, who have all been spirited away to this world. Meanwhile, the search for Elliot’s missing father has been taken over by a pair of agents, now that it appears Abel really was a Loyalist abducted by Hostiles; in this world, Madeleine continues learning strange facts that seem to have bearing on Cello. This is madcap, whimsical, smart and even heartbreaking, but Moriarty never drops the dozens of balls in the air. By turns coming-of-age and wild adventure (the Lake of Spells and the Turquoise Rain in Jagged Edge stand out), this volume complicates the characters, expands the worldbuilding and sets things up for a grand finish in the trilogy closer.

Not for the impatient or new reader, but otherwise even better than the first.


Horn Book Magazine Starred Review
In this second book in the trilogy (A Corner of White, rev. 5/13), Madeleine (in Cambridge, England) and Elliot (in the Kingdom of Cello) continue to communicate through letters they send through a “crack” between their two worlds. Elliot is even more determined to find his missing father but is sidetracked by Princess Ko, whose parents and siblings have disappeared into various places in Madeleine’s world, where they have found new identities and completely forgotten who they are (for example, the queen lives in Taipei and teaches Zumba). Ko has been covertly running everything while pretending the other royals are traveling, but if the king doesn’t turn up soon, war may break out. At Ko’s behest, Madeleine and Elliot attempt to cross into each other’s worlds; they achieve a measure of success and give readers a tantalizing hint of romance to come. The characters’ desperate yearning for absent loved ones adds emotional depth to the story, which is full of clever invention and intrigue, excellent surprises (readers will kick themselves for not spotting one of the missing persons earlier), and all the sophisticated wit Moriarty’s fans expect. This wholly engrossing book outdoes the first—not an easy task.


School Library Journal Starred Review
In this lively follow-up to A Corner of White (Scholastic, 2013), Moriarty chronicles the ever-intertwining lives of Cambridge resident Madeline Tully and her secret correspondent Elliot Baranski, a quick-witted farm boy from the Kingdom of Cello. After discovering a crack between their parallel worlds, the teens have been exchanging letters through the gap, venturing on a tentative friendship that may be growing into something more. The stakes are higher in this second installment, with Elliot recruited to help save the missing royalty of Cello, who were pushed into Madeline’s world in an attempt to destabilize the monarchy. Mixed in with the regal intrigue is a complex, moving look at families, friendship, and loss. The blossoming relationship between the pen pals, told in letters and through omniscient narration, is but one of the many charms this novel has to offer. Madeline’s emotional growth enriches her interactions with her friends and teachers in Cambridge, who fans will remember fondly from the first book. Elliot’s mission introduces the Royal Youth Alliance (RYA), an intriguing group of Cellian young people working (some reluctantly) toward a common goal. The RYA’s work around Cello expands an already complex and intricately drawn world. Readers will be clamoring for the next title after the thrilling yet satisfying conclusion.