Praise for A Corner of White
"Moriarty is the queen of epistolary stories, and her fans will find the teens' letters a familiar entree into this highly unusual fantasy.... [H]er irresistible characters help readers navigate a tantalizingly complex plot that will leave them eagerly awaiting the next book." -- Horn Book, starred review
"Quirky, charming, funny, sad: another winner from this always-surprising author." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Lovely fantasy... The story is told through the teens' communications and an omniscient narrator. This mix allows readers to know Madeleine and Elliot and their problems intimately, but it also gives them an aerial view of events, helps them meet the richly drawn secondary characters, and allows them to see the ingenious way in which the protagonists' lives ultimately combine." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"The plotting is as innovative and riveting as the world-making here, and the characters are drawn with the same rich dimensionality you find in Pratchett's Discword or one of Diana Wynne Jones's fantasies. Moriarty's wordsmithery likewise compares favorably with those two masters, delighting and surprising readers with quirky turns of phrase, evocative, synesthetic metaphors, and swift, effective shifts in register." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"A marvelous novel -- in every sense of the word -- with all the qualities of a literary classic. Just like the letters exchanged between the main characters, A Corner of White slips through a previously unnoticed crack in the reader's heart and changes everything." -- Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches
"An absolute delight of a novel: strange yet familiar, whimsical yet real, beautifully written and completely captivating. I can't wait for the sequel!" -- Garth Nix, author of The Abhorsen Trilogy
"Supremely original, smart, and delightful, this treasure of a book will appeal to readers of both realistic fiction and fantasy." -- Rachel Cohn, author of BETA
"Jaclyn Moriarty makes me laugh, hysterically -- and cry, unexpectedly. A Corner of White is a startlingly original fantasy, a moving story of human resilience -- and a structural triumph." -- E. Lockhart, author of The Disreputable History of Frank Landau-Banks and The Boyfriend List
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.