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Book Reviews

Review: “A Tangle of Gold,” Jaclyn Moriarty

March 29, 2016

I received this book for free from Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: “A Tangle of Gold,” Jaclyn MoriartyA Tangle of Gold (The Colours of Madeleine #3)
Written by Jaclyn Moriarty
Published March, 2016 by Pan Macmillan
480 pages
Provided by: Pan Macmillan Australia
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy
Purchase: The Book DepositoryBookworldBooktopia
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three-stars

Cello is in crisis. Princess Ko's deception of her people has emerged and the Kingdom is outraged: The Jagged Edge Elite have taken control, placing the Princess and two members of the Royal Youth Alliance under arrest and ordering their execution; the King's attempts to negotiate their release have failed. Color storms are rampant, and nobody has heard the Cello wind blowing in months.

Meanwhile, Madeleine fears she's about to lose the Kingdom of Cello forever. Plans are in place to bring the remaining Royals home, and after that, all communication between Cello and the World will cease. That means she'll also lose Elliot, now back in Cello and being held captive by a branch of Hostiles. And there's nothing he can do to help his friends unless he can escape the Hostile compound.

Worlds apart and with time running out, Madeleine and Elliot find themselves on a collision course to save the Kingdom they love, and maybe even save each other.

A Tangle of Gold was a stunning conclusion to The Colours of Madeline trilogy by Australian author, Jaclyn Moriarty. Packed with whimsicality, pleasant twists and plenty of colours, I couldn’t have been happier with how this series was wrapped up.

“Then, just when you’re not expecting it – just when you’re sniggering and turning to your books – the Cello Winds switch. Something surges forward like a sailboat on a wave; springs at your heart with claws of gold. The Wind finds it feet – or its wings, or its voice – and the music that it sounds! How to describe it? Exquisite does not even come close!”

I have a strange relationship with this series. If you’ve read my previous thoughts on the other books – A Corner of White and The Cracks in the Kingdom – you’ll know this already. It’s without a doubt that I continuously praise Jaclyn Moriarty for penning something so unique and vibrant… but I am constantly at war with myself over the pure BIZARRITY of this series. Do I love it? Or do I hate it?

The Colours of Madeleine deserves its own genre, to put it mildly. It’s impossible to stuff this series into any kind of generic YA basket.

Now that I’ve gotten all that out of my system, let’s talk about A Tangle of Gold. It’s been a long trek with this series, but for the most part the second halves of each book were complete page-turners. Though their beginnings dragged on, I could see everything coming together and I WOULD GET EXCITED and want to dive right into the next one. It was no different with A Tangle of Gold. Slow to start, but delivering an explosive conclusion.

And without giving too much away, HOW DID I NOT SEE THE MAJOR TWIST? I am hitting myself on the head… seriously. And it all made such complete sense? The nonsensicality (is that a word?) of the world of Cello intertwined with Cambridge all became reasonable. I definitely had a ‘oh!’ moment when everything became startlingly clear. I applaud you, Jaclyn Moriarty.

That being said, there were a few things that didn’t need to be so conveniently wrapped up (Jack!) but the amazingness of some of the other storylines made up for it (T.I. Candle!).

“It made me think that terrible things are always on the verge of happening. They’re always being just avoided. And it’s the same with wonderful things. It’s only when – I don’t know, when the stars are aligned – that something great happens. And you have to catch the moment or you miss it.”
– Madeleine

Rich and vibrant in its descriptions, I felt as if I were on the Farms with the Baranski clan sucking on watermelon and catching dripping pieces of ice-blocks. Though the writing could sometimes at time be overly fluffy and heavy with observation, more often than not Jaclyn Moriarty brought some beauty into the everyday with her descriptions.

I really enjoyed Keira as a focal POV of character in A Tangle of Gold. Her venture into the Farms was fantastic, and I loved seeing her Jagged Edgian ways get in the way of her fitting in. Elliot’s chapters were a little different to his previous ones, but I loved how this was explained later on. Madeleine also became likable – hooray! – and I was eager to see how her relationship with Elliot developed in the final book in the series.

“You said something like, Let’s just believe in each other and close our eyes, and I thought you were crazy but I did it anyway, and next thing, we were reaching between worlds, and I was holding your hand. To me, it was like I met you right then, like we said everything there was to say. Like all of you was there in the feel of your palm, and the way your fingers wound around mine.”
– Elliot

This series has mainly hinged on the relationship between Madeleine and Elliot, so I was happy to see their relationship change and grow within A Tangle of Gold. Sadly, however, I didn’t feel like they got a lot of actual page time together, despite the ending of The Cracks in the Kingdom.

I am absurdly happy with how things left off for everyone with this final instalment. Of course, I HAVE QUESTIONS, so hopefully I’ll have a chance to mull the ending over a little more and perhaps discuss it with anyone else that reads it.

All in all, an extremely unique and colourful YA series that breaks genre boundaries and strives to be anything but ordinary.

About Jaclyn Moriarty

Jaclyn Moriarty is an Australian writer of young adult literature. She studied English at the University of Sydney, and law at Yale University and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD. She currently lives in Sydney.

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