Review: A Tangle of Gold

A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty
Published by Pan Macmillan on the 1st March 2016
Pages: 528
Format: Paperback | Purchased
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The Kingdom of Cello is in crisis. Princess Ko’s deception has been revealed and the Elite have taken control, placing the Princess, Samuel and Sergio under arrest and ordering their execution. Elliot is being held captive by the Hostiles and Colour storms are raging through the land. The Cello Wind has been silent for months.Plans are in place to bring the remaining Royals home from the World but then all communication between Cello and the World will cease. That means Madeleine will lose Elliot, forever. Madeleine and Elliot must solve the mystery of Cello before it is too late.

I originally finished this book last night (this book is the fastest read I’ve had all year, which is surprising, given that it’s also the thickest book I’ve read all year), and was going to wait a few days before posting a review. We were given so much information that I felt that I needed a couple of days to digest it all, but I’m so excited to talk about this book that a review is going up today, folks!

I’ve been a Moriarty fan since I was about ten, so it’s incredibly hard to sit down and write a review that doesn’t make me sound like a crazy fan. When reading, it was hard to separate what was good about the book from the fact that this was a book that I have been waiting for for a very long time. I think I can objectively say that The Colours of Madeleine has been a trilogy that just keeps getting better – every book, Moriarty ups her game. She presents information to her readers, but doesn’t spell it our for them. It was fascinating to watch her weave together bits of information given out in the earlier books, and it was thrilling as a reader to have that big reveal.

A Tangle of Gold was not only one of my most anticipated books for 2016, but one of my most anticipated books period. It was up there with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Quintana of Charyn in terms of how excited I was. Very rarely do books live up to (high) expectations, but I’m pleased to say that A Tangle of Gold was pretty much everything I was hoping for, and then some. Moriarty took plot twists to a whole new level.

This book saw the introduction of a new voice, so to speak – while written in third person, it flipped between Elliot’s and Madeleine’s perspectives. This time we also had Keira’s perspective, and her voice is distinctive and completely different from Madeleine’s or Elliot’s. While surprising – I have to admit I did initially find it a little odd that we had a third perspective – I felt that it added so much more to the story, and I loved getting to know a character that I’d previously dismissed because I didn’t think that she’d stick around.

Honestly, I’m finding it difficult to criticise this book – it’s been tightly plotted and well-written, the characters are well-drawn and distinctive. If I was pressed, I would say that some readers may find it overly complex and left feeling a little overwhelmed – you do get plot twist after plot twist after plot twist, and at one point I was thinking, “what other secrets has this series been hiding?” I really did find this book to be fantastic though, and I don’t want to spoil others by talking about it too much. I will say this: connections will be revealed, betrayals found out, and the political intrigue thickens. Also, the secret to immortality! … kind of.

This series has been ridiculously ambitious and amazingly original, and cemented Jaclyn Moriarty as one of the greats in Australian literature. I already want to return to Cello, and if that is not a sign of a good series, I don’t know what is. If you haven’t read it yet, move it up on your TBR list – you won’t regret it.


Please note: this review originally appeared on my blog, What Kim Read Next. It has been reformatted and edited.


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