Series: The Colours of Madeleine #2
Published by: Pan Macmillan
ISBN 13: 9781742612874
Published: February 2014
Format reviewed: Paperback
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Four out of Five
Related Reviews: A Corner of White (The Colours of Madeleine #1)
‘The Cracks in the Kingdom’ by Jaclyn Moriarty is the second in the Colours of Madeleine series. This book focuses more on Princess Ko and the troubles in the family, and less with Madeleine’s friends; though they still feature. If time has passed since the first book, it’s not obvious, but neither does it seem to start directly where the first book left off, though one would assume so.
This book goes more into the world of Cello as Elliot and the other members of the small group that Princess Ko has rallied in order to help the royal family, known as the Royal Youth Alliance. They have a public image of being there to discuss youth-related matters when really, they’re banding together to help Princess Ko get her family back.
We meet Sergio who is usually one of the stable boys, and Ko’s best friend. We already know Elliot from the farms and his delightful letters through the cracks to our world – Cambridge, to be precise – and his brief glimpses with Madeleine. There is also Samuel who is a verbose, chubby, academic boy who makes you smile. Finally there’s Keira, the technological genius who I found most interesting. She’s snappy and harsh with her tone, words and actions and really keeps the book going, stepping in to save the day and otherwise keep it interesting.
Other characters I’d loved to have seen more of are the two agents who are Princess Ko’s bodyguards – Agents Nettles and Ramsay. The small roles they played were entertaining and I’d love to see perhaps a short story or novella featuring them.
Princess Ko is probably supposed to be more loved than I eventually felt for her. I loved her weird exclamations as she tries to seem dumber than she actually is, so the people won’t suspect she’s up to anything, but overall I was more interested in the above.
I enjoy this series because it’s quite different to the norm, both with how everyone acts, and the writing style. They capture the characters accurately, and there are a range of different characters so you can be assured that you’ll find a favourite somewhere.
The plot seems a little unbalanced, but, well, life is at times, and I can’t particularly find a fault – it’s simply something jarring that I can’t pinpoint in where I would have liked to see more of something – the book seemed perfectly thick as it was.
Overall this book is a decent addition to the series, especially as it shows us more of Cello which is the most interesting part, especially when they go seeking spells. It took me quite some time to get into the book however, which is a shame as I’d been looking forward to it for what felt like such a long time. Somehow the beginning felt flat, though as I progressed it got more engaging.
I’ll certainly be getting the next book, as I’m guessing the minor gripes I had came down more to my current mood and nothing more.