On Fortune's Wheel

( 32 )

Overview

Birle has agreed to be wed to the huntsman Muir as an escape from the drudgery of life at her father's inn-but the moment she looks into the bellflower blue eyes of the man she comes upon stealing one of her fathers boats, Birle knows she cannot marry Muir. Even after she discovers the mysterious stranger is Orien, a Lord and as unreachable to an innkeeper's daughter as a star, Birle is determined to travel with him as far as he will allow.

Their travels take Birle to a world ...

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On Fortune's Wheel

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Overview

Birle has agreed to be wed to the huntsman Muir as an escape from the drudgery of life at her father's inn-but the moment she looks into the bellflower blue eyes of the man she comes upon stealing one of her fathers boats, Birle knows she cannot marry Muir. Even after she discovers the mysterious stranger is Orien, a Lord and as unreachable to an innkeeper's daughter as a star, Birle is determined to travel with him as far as he will allow.

Their travels take Birle to a world far from home, a world where Lords may become slaves, where Princes rule by fear, and where Fortune's Wheel turns more swiftly and dangerously than Birle ever could have imagined.

Newbery Medalist Cynthia Voigt's second novel of the Kingdom, set two generations later than Jackaroo, is a memorable combination of thrilling adventure and heart-stopping romance.

Faced with the prospect of an unhappy life in the Kingdom, fourteen-year-old Birle accompanies a young runaway nobleman on a journey south and falls into slavery in the citadel of a cruel prince.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The fourth and final title in Voigt's Kingdom cycle (begun with Jackaroo) is thrilling, from its dramatic opener to its stunning climax. Newcomers to the Kingdom books can read it with as much pleasure as fans of the entire series (and without ruining for themselves the surprises of those previous works). Set in an imaginary continent that resembles medieval Europe, the story begins in the brutal realm of the Wolfers, a ruthless people among whom 12-year-old Elske has been raised and, horrifyingly, chosen for a sacrificial death. How Elske escapes this fate is the first of many ingeniously plotted turns, reversals that depend on the heroine's intelligence and determination rather than coincidence or authorial sleight-of-hand. There is much to marvel at. Voigt demonstrates a remarkable breadth of imagination in dreaming up the customs of the various lands Elske moves through; e.g., a Scandinavian-type city builds a thriving economy by hosting biannual "courting winters" for young marriageable, wealthy foreigners. The cast also includes a princess wrongfully deprived of a throne (and willing to go to war to claim it) and a man worthy of Elske but chosen for one of the princess's sisters. The characterizations are as sharp and uncompromising as Voigt's readers have come to expect, and the narration never tips the author's hand. This spellbinding work continually challenges readers to keep up with its far-seeing, swift-thinking protagonist. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) FYI: The Vermeer masterpiece that appears on the jacket, Head of a Girl (a painting that also appears this season on the cover of the adult novel Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier), links Elske with the simultaneously reissued paperback of another novel in the Kingdom cycle, On Fortune's Wheel (S&S/ Aladdin, $5.50 -82957-4), the jacket of which features Vermeer's Woman Reading a Letter. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Late one night 14-year-old Birle, the innkeeper's daughter, dives into the river in rash pursuit of a supposed thief, promptly falls in love with this runaway Lord of the Kingdom and embarks with him on a world-spanning adventure. Birle and her Lord are shipwrecked on a barren coast, rescued by pirates, sold into slavery and, after many other tribulations, narrowly escape and head for home. On Fortune's Wheel , set in the same imaginary world as Jackaroo , is a lush narrative woven from elements of classic fairy tales and legends. Newbery Medalist Voigt has provided enough plot for two or three tales, compelling characterizations, keen psychological insights and a surprising, deeply rewarding ending. This novel truly has something for everyone. Ages 11-up. Mar.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Cynthia Voigt's writing has always been a class act, so it's a pleasure to see this reissue of her second book in "The Kingdom" series. Set in the same nebulous medieval world a generation or two after Jackaroo, the tale follows the adventures of Birle, the Innkeeper's daughter, as she unexpectedly takes flight to larger horizons in the company of a runaway nobleman. It's an adventure, a coming-of-age story, a poignant romance-and a realistic exploration of medieval feminism long before Karen Cushman-all wrapped up in one beautifully written package. May a whole new generation of readers become entranced. 1999 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-- Two generations after Jackaroo Atheneum, 1985 takes place, another innkeeper's daughter finds herself outside the boundaries of her society. Like Lloyd Alexander, Voigt creates a setting in no known historical past, but with many medieval echoes. Birle, 14, tries to stop a boat thief and instead becomes his passenger as he flees downriver. The thief, however, is no ordinary man but Lord Orien, the next ruler of the Kingdom who is running away because he is convinced that he will be an ineffectual leader. The two become marooned on an island, and are then sold into service. Without Orien, Birle submits to her bad fortune, works hard, and befriends others held in thrall by one master or another. It is only when she acknowledges her desires and begins to work to achieve them that she is able to rescue a nearly dead Orien. Birle is a thoughtful heroine, Orien a worthy hero, and the sudden confusion both feel over the roles assigned to them is nicely resolved. Realizing that free will, at least in part, determines their future, both separately renounce the roles society has made for them to begin a life. Readers may wonder how Orien, Birle, and their baby will manage in the fierce anarchy of the southern cities, but at least they will be making their own way, not following the ways defined by ``fortune's wheel.'' This coming-of-age story at first moves slowly, but that makes the horror of enslavement even more dramatic. Voigt presents the horrors of slavery and despotic rule as seen through Birle's eyes, and readers are left with many powerful images of the consequences of acting dishonorably, weakly, selfishly, or thoughtlessly. --Susan Hepler, Arlington Public Library, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780706576
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1999
  • Series: Cynthia Voigt's Kingdom Series
  • Pages: 402
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Voigt won the Newbery Medal for Dicey’s Song, the Newbery Honor Award for A Solitary Blue, and the National Book Award Honor for Homecoming, all part of the beloved Tillerman cycle. She is also the author of many other celebrated books for middle grade and teen readers, including Izzy, Willy-Nilly and Jackaroo. She was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 1995 for her work in literature, and the Katahdin Award in 2004. She lives in Maine.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Innkeeper's Daughter
Part 2 The Philosopher's Amanuensis
Part 3 The Earl's Lady
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    Amazing! One of my favs!

    This book got me into reading Voigt's other Novels of the Kingdom. I loved it so much. It touched my heart. I will be sad when I finish reading all the others. I will read this book again and again and I will pass it on to others!The others are good, but this one touched me in a special way. It is the best out of all of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2004

    It's hard to know why I love this book...

    When I first read this book I imidiately decided it was my favorite. This may have been because I was twelve and had just discovered romance. But, I've gotten over that and it's still great! Though there's no magic it definately reads like fantasy(which I've always been a sucker for). Yeah, it's romantic, but there's also plenty of adventure and other emotions involved. Recomended to all you girls out there who read to get your heart stolen by book characters and then laugh at yourself for it later :-D

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2004

    MY FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIMES!!!

    I have to say that this book touched my heart. I couldn't put it down. I've read it 5 times and still want to read it again. If this was made into a movie I would watch it over and over again. Great characters! Great Story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2003

    If I could, I'd give it ten stars!!

    One of the best books of all time! Full of adventure from the moment Birle is introduced. I highly reccomend this great story! Birle, Orien, Yul, and even the corrupt Corbell are believable, realistic charachters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2003

    On Fortune's Wheel- GREAT BOOK!!

    I thought this book was really good. The beginning was a little boring, but don't put the book down yet!! Birle's enslavement was my favorite part of the book. It is described in such detail through the eyes of a 14 year-old. The ending was AMAZING!!!I would have never guessed it!! Read the book, and I know you will agree with me!! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2003

    I LOVED IT!!!!

    I loved this book! Anyone who likes adventure and romance will too. At first, I thought this book was boring, but after a while the mystery of 'the Lord' and complexity of Birle had me hooked. I felt as if I was there through their amazing journey. I could not put it down; On Fortune's Wheel had me captivated till the very end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2002

    I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!

    It was sooo good!I know I must have read it more than 5 times,and I could never put it down it was so great!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2002

    Definitely Worth Your Time

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to any of you out there that like historical fiction/adventure. Though I admit that it took several chapters to get me completely immersed in this wonderful story, I couldn¿t have wanted a better book to read. It certainly was a captivating tale with beautiful descriptions and smooth wording that all flowed together beautifully.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2002

    AN EXCELLENT PORTRAYAL OF A LOVE WHICH CANNOT BE BROKEN!

    Beryl follows the man she falls in love with from her dull life as Innkeeper's daughter to a fearful land where they are torn apart and kept as slaves and only united in war. The ending couldn't have been better!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2002

    On Foutune's Wheel was a wonderful book!

    I loved this book! Sometimes I was reading it before I went to bed I wouldn't be able to put it down and I stay up realy late. It is a very good book for people that like historical fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2002

    the BEST book

    i thought this book was great. i don't usually like endings to books but this one i loved. i reall recomend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2002

    A Great Romance!

    If this book was boring anytime throughout the book( which it wasn't) the ending would make up for it all by itself! O that ending was such a wonderful ending. It was the best ending I have read in forever!Ok I thought the story was great...her time as a slave the escape. All was Great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2001

    the best

    i dont read much, but when i started readin this one, i couldnt put it down. its so descriptive and makes you get into the book with the characters. it was the best book ive ever read, and ive actually now read it three times! i recommend it to everyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2001

    Awesome book!

    I loved this book, and it soon became my favorite book of all time! I loved the suspense between Birle and Orien, if they were going to end up together or not. Great character development, and plot!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2001

    I LUVED IT!

    I thought this book was great. Cynthia Voigt is a great writer and can write fantasies and romance and then also girls stuggle through life (the tillerman serries) All her books are great, but i think i like the Kingdoms serries the best! and especially on fortunes wheel! It has romance, adventure, and a girls struggle through life to find herself. After I was done I wish their was more to it! and i had to go out and get the next book in the serries, out of all of the books i think jackaroo and on fortunes wheel are the best but the others are really good too!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2001

    My absolute favourite book of all time!

    It's real and you feel like you have lived Birle's life. I have read it about 10 times and never get tired of it. I can not put it down. The begininng is might be slow if you need fast paced books, but once you get into it , it catches your attention.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2001

    The Best Book I've read in a long time

    I thought this book is one of the best I've read since Shakespeare. It was a wonderful story full of suspense I think.I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2001

    IT WAS AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This book wasn't the best book I've read in a while because I've started reading Cynthia Voigt's other books and ALL ARE EXCEPTIONAL!!!!!! If you want an awsome read, read this!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2001

    WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I JUST GOT DONE READING IT AND I DIDN'T WANT TO LET GO OF IT.YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR BIRLE,AND YOUR IN LOVE WITH ORIEN YOURSELF.IT STARTS OUT SLOW,BUT ONCE YOU GET INTO IT YOU CAN'T PUT IT DOWN.AFTERWARDS I DIDN'T FEEL LIKE READING ANOTHER BOOK AFTER I READ THIS ONE. I'D DEFINATLY READ THIS BOOK AGAIN.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2000

    Not only for kids...

    I read this book as a senior in high school and now am 22years old. I still love it, as well as Jackaroo, and can't wait to own them. They are wonderful stories.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews

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