Late on Monday night, I finished The Cracks in the Kingdom with a loud moan. How could Jaclyn Moriarty do this to her readers? What about the Queen of Cello? How can Elliot and his father return? Is Belle really having a mental breakdown? Will Madeline's mother be ok? And is Princess Ko as unfeeling as she appears?
I mean, really!!!! This wild, whimsical fantasy trilogy (I hope it's a trilogy because I want answers SOON if not immediately) keeps me guessing.
This second entry into The Colors of Madeleine series returns to the Kingdom of Cello - where colors can create havoc and the entire Royal Family except for Princess Ko has been abducted. Elliot Baranski is on the Royal Youth Alliance, an initiative supposedly designed to find ways for the Provinces of Cello to better work together. The RYA is really dedicated to finding the Royal Family and returning them to Cello before war breaks out.
Since the Royal Family is in the World (That's us, folks. We are the World.), Elliot needs Madeleine.
Madeleine in turn needs her Worldly friends, Jack and Belle. And the reader needs a neck brace from swiveling back and forth from Cello to the World to Cello to the World.
And it all gets scientific, and romantic and then, just like in the first book, A Corner of White, incredibly suspenseful. WAAAAAAAHHHHHH! I can't take this. I need to know.
Who are these Wandering Hostiles who besiege the government of Cello? Where the heck is Madeleine's father? Why is the WSU determined to keep traffic between Cello and the World closed? Can Elliot ever return to Cello? Will Samuel survive?
This review does NOT do this book,- the writing, the research, the fitting together of the smallest puzzle pieces,- justice. Not since the Chrestomanci books of Diana Wynne-Jones have I read fantasies as intricate as this series. Moriarty's mood is so much lighter that Wynne-Jones, (whom I miss every passing day), that it is easy not to notice how every detail is necessary to tell this story. WOW! Just plain wow! Read these books.