An enticing opening to a fascinating fantasy series





This is a truly enchanting book by Jaclyn Moriarty who writes in an evocative and original manner. It may take some readers a while to truly get into the book as it really contains two stories in one: the story of Madeleine and her Cambridge friends, set in the world we know as ours and the story of Elliott and his friends, in the Kingdom of Cello. But when a letter moves through a crack between these 2 worlds, the stories begin to merge and Elliott and Madeleine begin to tell each other about themselves and their worlds.

Both Madeleine and Elliott are living alone with their mothers and have missing fathers. But whereas Madeleine left her father by choice, for Elliott, there is a deep mystery surrounding his father’s disappearance. Over the course of the novel both teens must face the reality about their fathers, face the fact that these men who they loved dearly may in fact have been quite flawed. Both teens worry about their own failings and how much they may have followed in their father’s footsteps.

There is much to enjoy in this book. The letter writing and gradual friendship between Elliott and Madeleine does not run smoothly as she is initially quite dismissive of him, refusing to believe that he really exists. But they both help each other thorough some difficult times and by novel’s end may in fact need each other to survive the future. Certainly, Elliott’s friendship with Madeleine is daring: for in his world contact with the Other World is shunned, punishable by death…but surely, when you are a popular heroic boy like Elliott, your life couldn’t be at risk??

There are some very clever twists in the plot of this story that will keep the reader intrigued till the last page and eagerly awaiting the next instalment in this fantasy series. The author has said that she likes making her readers think and she has certainly achieved this with this amazing new book.

This novel is a worthy Notable Book for the 2013 CBCA Book of the Year (Older Readers).

Highly Recommended (dma) *****

Published by


I am a teacher-librarian in a government school. I love reading and talking about books ... to anyone who will listen!

One thought on “An enticing opening to a fascinating fantasy series”

  1. One of the best books I’ve read.
    I enjoyed reading it for, it had a very good plot and making colours as villains was a great twist in the whole book. The characters were well described, both in personality and figure. I loved the way the author had built Madeline and Elliot’s character profile. At first when I thought about different worlds, either they are both on earth or in another planet or surrounding. But, in this case, one of the world was set in earth (England) and the other in a place called the Farms. I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to those who would like to see the magical colours of Madeline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *