What: The Cracks in the Kingdom (The Colours of Madeleine #2) by Jaclyn Moriarty
Who: Pan Macmillan Australia
When: February 27th 2014
How: A copy of this novel was provided by Pan Macmillan Australia for review.
Time slides around the world so strangely …
It’s not easy being Princess Ko.
Her family is missing, taken to the World through cracks in the Kingdom, which were then sealed tightly behind them.
Now Princess Ko is running the Kingdom, and war is looming.
To help her find her family, she gathers a special group of teens, including Elliot Baranski of the Farms. He’s been writing secret letters to a Girl-in-the World named Madeleine Tully – and now the Kingdom needs her help.
Madeleine and Elliot must locate the missing royals, convince them of their true identities, and figure out how to unlock the dangerous cracks between the Kingdom and the World.
All before their enemies can stop them.
It’s official. I have my first five star read of 2016, and I am so gloriously happy that it is The Cracks in the Kingdom. When I read A Corner of White, I really liked it, but I didn’t feel like I loved it as much as I had been told I would. And then I started The Cracks in the Kingdom, and it was PERFECTION. It’s rare that a second book in a series lives up to its predecessor, and even rarer when the second book surpasses its predecessor, but The Cracks in the Kingdom definitely did.
Every single thing that I loved best about A Corner of White was even more prominent in The Cracks in the Kingdom. The letters between Madeleine and Elliot played such a bigger role in this book, and it was just so wonderful to see them grow closer as friends (and a little bit more). I love how much they come to care for each other, even though they haven’t even met, or seen each other, or heard each other’s voices. It reminds me so much of friends that I’ve made through blogging, which goes to show that you really don’t need face to face interaction to really care about someone.
Madeleine and Elliot want to meet, though. To be able to meet each other, and to figure out a way to get the royal family of Cello back from the World. I won’t say if they do actually meet, because that would be a spoiler, but the ‘will they won’t they’ aspect of this book was painful, in a wonderful way.
I really felt like I got to know Madeleine more in The Cracks in the Kingdom than in the first book. A lot of A Corner of White was about how much Madeleine wanted to go back to her old, posh life, whereas in this book she’s come to realise that her new life is wonderful, as well. I absolutely adore this girl. She’s so odd and cute, and I just really want everything to turn out well for her.
Elliot. Ah, Elliot. If I had one word to describe him it would be: perfect. I know that no one is perfect, but Elliot is pretty darn close. I love him so much. I don’t think I could pinpoint exactly what about him is so endearing, but I love him anyway. I love how committed he is to his family, I love how he helps out his aunty, I love how he talks to his little niece like she’s an adult, I love how sarcastic he can be, and how sincere. He is literally one of my favourite characters – ever. (Although I have to say there were two moments in this book were I was super disappointed in him. The first is when he kisses a girl, and that is because HE LOVES MADELINE AND SHOULD NOT BE KISSING ANYONE ELSE. And the second was when he didn’t send a letter to Madeline for a week, and she was so hurt. I guess this is because he was going through some serious stuff, but I was still sad that he didn’t realise how much he’d hurt her. He’s still precious, though.)
On top of these two, we’re introduced to a new group of characters, and I have to say that I was worried, at first. I never really like the introduction of new characters, but these ones were fabulous. There’s Ko, the princess of Cello, who is trying to run a country by herself even though she’s only a teenager. There’s Samuel, who is the most awkward little pumpkin, but who you cannot help but want to cuddle. There’s Keira, who I was super wary of the entire time I read this book. And Sergio, who is my PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL. He frolics (literally frolics) and prances around and goes off topic and compares everything to horses and I just. Freaking. Love. Him. TO PIECES. He is my favourite thing in the world (besides Elliot, of course).
There are so many things I could say about this book, because I adored absolutely every single second that I spent reading it. The length was no problem, and I wished I had more the moment I finished it. The Cracks in the Kingdom is whimsical, and heartbreaking, and uplifting, and romantic, and just all ‘round beautiful. I cannot recommend it enough.
© 2016, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.
trigger warning: alcoholic parent, absentee parent, drug addiction, fake suicide note, amnesia, murder, and abduction in this novel