The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst

Jaclyn Moriarty

The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst
Allen & Unwin
29 September 2020

The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst

Jaclyn Moriarty

Long ago, the little Prince of Cloudburst was stolen from the seashore by a Water Sprite. Now, ten years later, the prince has found his way home. The King and Queen are planning the biggest party in their Kingdom’s history to welcome him.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Kingdoms and Empires, Esther Mettlestone-Staranise is looking forward to another year at Katherine Valley Boarding School. But she arrives to find a number of strange and unsettling changes. For one, her new teacher is rumoured to be an Ogre. Two mysterious students have joined the school, and one of Esther’s classmates is an undercover Spellbinder. Most disturbingly, the mountains surrounding the school - usually a delight of glaciers, teashops, lakes and Faeries - are now crowded with wicked Shadow Mages.

As secrets and dangers escalate, Esther must find the answers to several puzzles. Why is her teacher behaving so oddly? Which of Esther’s classmates is the Spellbinder, and can they really protect the school from gathering hordes of Shadow Mages? Could the Stolen Prince of Cloudburst be connected?

How can Esther - who is not talented like her sisters, nor an adventurer like her cousin, but just Esther - save her family, her school and possibly her entire world?


When Esther returns to boarding school for another year, she has a couple of very interesting new classmates. There’s an odd teacher who is possibly an ogre, and two of her best friends are missing. Esther hears talk of evil shadow mages and witches lurking in the nearby mountains. Inexplicable things keep happening in the ocean, too. This is all becoming quite confusing, and very stressful, for Esther. It might be up to her to protect the whole school! Or even the whole world!

It’s a rare delight to read a truly imaginative magical adventure that is also genuinely hilarious. This is the third book in Jaclyn Moriarty’s popular Kingdoms and Empires series, but each book can be read independently without any problems at all. At a whopping 600 pages, this is a perfect series for voracious young readers who need something to really get stuck into. There are lots of fun illustrations by Kelly Canby throughout, too. Highly recommended for ages 9+.

Kim Gruschow is the children’s book buyer at Readings St Kilda.

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