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Jackaroo: A Novel of the Kingdom by Cynthia…
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Jackaroo: A Novel of the Kingdom (original 1985; edition 2003)

by Cynthia Voigt

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7451312,495 (3.81)22
Member:mugglelibrarian
Title:Jackaroo: A Novel of the Kingdom
Authors:Cynthia Voigt
Info:Simon Pulse (2003), Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Webquest List
Rating:***
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Jackaroo by Cynthia Voigt (1985)

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» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
The book's title refers to a legendary, masked outlaw hero called Jackaroo but there is a lot less dramatic derring-do than I expected. It's quieter, slower, more thoughtful. A coming-of-age story about an innkeeper's daughter, exploring her relationship with her family and the changes she faces.
Yet Jackaroo is a most appropriate title for this story, for it is also about the reasons why someone might step outside the laws of their society and take on the mantle of Jackaroo.

At 16, Gwyn is meant to either accept a husband or announce her intention to never marry, and is unhappy with the narrow choices before her. She is also becoming more aware of the hardship and inequality in the kingdom: the common folk struggle with grief and poverty and injustice, while the lords in their cities are too busy squabbling for power to care.

But when a lord staying at the inn asks for servants to accompany him around the surrounding countryside, Gwyn is sent on a trip that does not go to plan and that changes her perspective in unexpected ways.

I loved the way all the pieces of Gwyn's story fitted together - her uncertainty about her future, her growing understanding of her family, her concerns about her community and her frustration at not knowing how to address the problems she could see. I loved the way Jackaroo is thematically relevant to Gwyn's life.

She felt alone, even there in her own kitchen with a fire at her back. But it didn't feel like her own kitchen, not any more, and her family were strangers [...] They were wearing masks. It would hurt them if they knew she had noticed; and it wouldn't do any good for her to be angry, it wouldn't change what had happened.
Gwyn didn't want to think about it, because it frightened her to realise how little she belonged here, the one place where she belonged more than any other place. So she changed the subject.
( )
  Herenya | Mar 29, 2016 |
Cynthia Voigt wrote a series of books about a kingdom in a far off land, in a far off time, in a far off place. And I have never even heard of them!! I'ver read many of her other books, Izzy Willy Nilly, Dicey's Song, A Solitary Blue and I have really enjoyed them. So - how did I miss these??

Jackaroo is the March book for our new family book club and I was excited to read a well-loved author in a completely different way!

Jackaroo is a fable - a made up character who swoops in and saves the downtrodden just like Robin Hood. He wears a mask - appears and disappears in a moment. And he is the savior of the people. That is what they are called - the people. There are also Lords and Earls and a King. But they are far off - and rarely seen. The Kingdom is carried along by the people who toil in the Inns, and the fields and barely make it. Because the Lords and Ladies take their money for taxes. The people are not allowed to learn to read. They work and they live and then they die - young!

Gwynn is an Innkeeper's daughter who has refused to marry and knows she will spend her days working for her brother when he runs the Inn - women are not allowed to run a business. And then there is a mysterious Lord and his son who show up at the Inn and ask for Gwynn and her servant to take them on a mapping trip. And then there is a snowstorm!

Gwynn is stranded in a cottage - snowed in - with a moody young Lord who is not to speak to her. And then she makes an unexpected discovery.

I really liked Gwynn. She is the girl that I wanted to be - sure of herself and willing to take the consequences of changing the world she lives in for what she needs. And with her courage she is able to see the world make a little change!

Great start to the series ( )
  kebets | Sep 14, 2015 |
I really enjoyed this book. It was a much stronger told story than Voigt's more experimental Orfe. All the characters get a chance to mature over the course of Jackaroo and enough loose ends are tied up by the conclusion to give the book a satisifying sense of closure while still leaving the Kingdom interesting enough to start off a series of book. I certainly will want to read more of the books in this series! The book would have been even better if Voigt had tightened up the first half of the book where she introduces Gwyn and her motivations for her adventures in the second half of the book. ( )
  pussreboots | Aug 17, 2014 |
Teen fantasy about a girl having the courage to defy her family and her village and become a swashbuckling hero. LH ( )
  splinfo | Apr 19, 2013 |
Couldn't finish this one for some reason. It just didn't keep my interest. ( )
  cmbohn | Apr 4, 2012 |
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For Penny and Susan and Good Times Remembered
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Gwyn stood crowded in among the women.
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Book description
When hard times among the People revive the old stories of the hero Jackaroo, an innkeeper's daughter follows her own quest to unlock the secret reality behind the legend.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689864353, Mass Market Paperback)

"False, they were all of them false, the stories; as false as the stories of fairies dancing in moonlight glades on Midsummer Night."

But they served a purpose. In a distant time and far-off kingdom, life is hard. People don't have enough to eat, and winter is upon them. There's little that offers hope, and many turn to the legends of Jackaroo -- the masked outlaw hero who rides at night giving aid to the helpless and coin to the destitute -- for solace. But Gwyn, the Innkeeper's daughter -- sensitive, industrious, and independent -- is too practical to believe such tales.

But when a snowstorm forces her and a young Lordling to seek refuge in an abandoned house, Gwyn wonders if perhaps she has been too cynical. Hidden away in an old forgotten cupboard, Gwyn discovers a package -- a cloak, a mask, a sword....Jackaroo? Could the stories be true?

It takes a shock and a devastating betrayal for Gwyn to begin to understand what -- and who -- Jackaroo really is. And she comes to know what part she will play in discovering the truth, such as it may be, behind the legends.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:33 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When hard times among the People revive the old stories of the hero Jackaroo, an innkeeper's daughter follows her own quest to unlock the secret reality behind the legend.

(summary from another edition)

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