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Jackaroo (Tales of the Kingdom, #1)
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Jackaroo (Tales of the Kingdom #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  3,587 ratings  ·  213 reviews
There is much want in the kingdom and the tales of Jackaroo, the masked outlaw who helps the poor in times of trouble, are on everyone's lips. Gwyn, the innkeeper's lively daughter, pays little attention to the tales. But when she is stranded during a snowstorm in a cabin with the lordling Gaderian, and finds a strange garment that resembles the costume Jackaroo is said to ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Simon Pulse (first published January 1st 1985)
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Nov 13, 2012 Catie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catie by: Noelle
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2012, ya
3 1/2 stars

Noelle mailed me the second book in this series last year for my birthday and then challenged me to actually get off my butt and read it this month for She Made Me Do It. And then, she also sent me the description for this book – the first in the series – by email like a juicy little lure. A description which contains mention of a feisty innkeeper’s daughter who’s independent and strong and doesn’t want to get married and who stumbles across a disguise for the legendary Robin Hood typ
Becky B
Feb 19, 2015 Becky B rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who like Robin Hood stories, Historical ficiton lovers, Those who like spunky female leads
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when I picked up this book. Even the reviews I read didn't seem to prepare me, maybe because it is not an easy book to review.
Although the Jackaroo stories in this book definitely mimic Robin Hood tales, this is not a Robin Hood story. More than anything else, this is a coming of age story about Gwyn the Innkeeper's daughter. Gwyn lives in the Kingdom which could be in any European or imaginary area that has mountains, forests, a river and a coast. The feud
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I guess so many people have this shelved as a fantasy because of the "alternate history" aspect to the story. We never really know it takes place in OUR past and no real-world names that I know of are given for places. But there isn't any magic or sorcery. The School Library Journal calls this "an intense and elegantly written historical adventure-romance ." There really isn't even much of a romantic aspect to the story unless you count the romantic, swashbuckling legend of the Jackaroo, who is ...more
As I started reading this I realized I had started it before and never finished. I suppose that is what kept me at it this time. My expectations were a bit too high, I had heard this compared to Robin Hood or even Scarlet Pimpernel, so as I read I was a little disappointed in the story. I think it had a lot of promise, but it was a little lacking for me. Gwyn was a pretty good heroin, and she grows a lot throughout the story. I think Burl (her good friend, and father’s servant) was under used an ...more
I used to love this book as a middle-schooler, when I first found it. It was like Robin Hood meets all the wuxia stories I heard about as I grew up, where girls disguised themselves as guys and explored, and made differences in the world where they could. It was refreshing to read a story like this, in English. ^_^
But then I read the other Kingdom novels. And eventually, a few months ago, I reread Jackaroo. And all of a sudden, though it was still a refreshing scenario, the story, the writing,
This book started out a little slow, but halfway through things started to get interesting, and by the end I discovered that I had absolutely fallen in love with the book! It was thoughtful, vivid, full of unique and interesting characters, realistic and yet hopeful, portraying the hardships of life without at all diminishing the fantastic moments of adventure. And the ending! It was a legitimate, beautiful happy ending, one that leaves you grinning from ear to ear at the end. I highly recommend ...more
Mailee Pyper
I loved this book. When I think about it there was nothing in it that was particularly earth shattering, but the whole thing (setting, characters, plot) just rang true to me. It spoke to my soul in a way few books do and left a definite and lasting impression.

One of things I particularly liked about this book is that it is told from a different point of view than your typical book of this type. The kingdom this is set in is in a serious state of political unrest, but as this is told from the pe
Natalie Joan
One upon a time (grade 7/8 ish) Cynthia Voight was my favourite author. I stumbled across this book a few days ago by complete accident, and absolutely had to read it. Voight writing alternative-history/fantasy? Amazing.
It was an easy and enjoyable read. Not really fantasy, just a Medieval kingdom not necessary based on any fact - but no magic, dragons, or wizards.
I enjoyed reading about Gwyn. She's just the kind of heroine I can get behind. She is independent, intelligent and hardworking. She i
Jun 07, 2014 Isin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Isin by: My elder, half-brother
This book is extremely easy to read, in fact, I finished it in a day. With that being said, it's obvious that the book is more light and straightforward in terms of plot.
I liked this book, though I do have a few problems with it. I think my main problem was that I wanted this book to be like Robin Hood. Which it was, to some extent. When I saw the cover, I thought the protagonist was a Robin Hood-like Fellow. It was not.
The protagonist is a young girl who doesn't start doing much of anything u
A friend of mine deeply imprinted on this book as a child, and I can certainly see why. I suspect that my being older has robbed it of some of its power, but it's still an enjoyable read.

This is really more of an alt-history than a standard fantasy--we've got noblemen and a kingdom and the trappings of a Robin Hood-ish legend that have no real moorings in reality, but without any other fantasy elements. Really, it's a historical story without the need to confine to history.

And oh, it's so very m
Jennifer Lavoie
So I found this book completely by accident and I couldn't have been happier. I had just finished a book signing and I was wandering around and saw this lying on a table, and I thought, oh! Cynthia Voigt, I read her before. And then I saw the title and thought, hey... the name Gwyn sounds familiar. And then I see in small print that it was formerly published as Jackaroo and I exploded. I grabbed the book off the table, ran to customer service, and asked if there were reprints for the rest of the ...more
I don't know why I just recently discovered Cynthia Voigt. I've been deprived these many years. Her writing is a little bare, but I've discovered that she is saying a lot by saying a little. Her main character is so strong and sure of her capabilities. I hoped that the love story would resolve itself just the way that it did, which made me happy! I was greatly intrigued by her "kingdom." It is a very interesting place to discover and explore.
Jul 19, 2015 Dewlanna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who like strong female charachters
For some reason I was not expecting much from this book. I don't really know why, since I've loved pretty much every book from this author I've read… The combination of the Middle-Age style universe, the Robin Hood type of story and the target audience being quite younger than I am... It just didn’t sound like something I’d enjoy.

Well how happy I am that I read it despite my initial doubts. I absolutely loved the book. This is so much more than another simple “steal the rich to feed the poor” ad
Sara Diane
Oct 03, 2007 Sara Diane rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I first read this book in jr. high and loved it. I re-read it every year or two and still find it wonderful every time.

The story of a young woman who decides to make a difference in her community by taking on the persona of a folk hero. That decision changes her future in more ways than she could imagine.
i just bought and reread this book. i so love it!
Yup. Right in the nostalgia.
Gwyn is questioning her life. As an Innkeeper's Daughter, she's comfortable and pretty well off, especially compared to the people in the village and holdings around her, but she's observant. She sees the hurting of those around her, from the old couple who is robbed and beaten for the goat that keeps them alive, to her sister fiercely holding on to the agony of loosing her first child and Gwyn wonders how she could help them. Thinking of the old stories, of the rougish lord who roomed the lands ...more
Sarah Ray
This book was recommended by a friend who is starting a local book club with me. I read it in hardback, unlike most of the books I read lately, on my Kindle.

My impression of it was definitely thrown off by the cover and the name. My edition is the old cover, and I thought it might be a story about a Puritan-like community. I was far from the mark.

It does have a somewhat slow start as it builds the weight of this world, the poverty and despair of the people who so desperately need a flicker of ho

At 16 Gwyn is one determined female protagonist--a brave Innkeeper's Daughter who refuses to watch complacently while the common people--like herself--are bullied and butchered. My major confusion stemmed from the lack of a specific country or time: the novel was set in a nameless land governed by a King, three Earls and their various Lords--a palid prototype of the emerging feudal system. This was a dark and cruel world for most: the Lords kept aloof in their guarded
This was a really great book. It had a lot of layers to it. I could enjoy the interesting story, and engaging characters, or I could look at the deeper questions this book asked. The main character had to discover who she was, and where she fit into the world. The thing that really pulled me in was the lessons she learned about her society, and people. When there are troubles in a society who is to blame? Who's job is it to fix it? Is it best to keep your head down and look out for your own fami ...more
I've wanted to read this book for years. When I was eleven I read the first chapter, and then lost the book when I moved. I searched for it in my new town library and it was nowhere to be found. The name- Jackaroo- was so mythical and enticing. Now, sixteen years later I've finally read it. And sadly, it didn't live up to its promise.
First off, I'll say that the heroine is a great role model. I would encourage children to read this book for that alone. She is disciplined, compassionate, and ma
Jackaroo by Cynthia Voigt is about Gwyn, the innkeeper’s daughter. This is set a long time ago, before refrigeration, heating systems, and air conditioning. It’s also before people take baths in winter, which was really weird for me to read about. It takes place during a hard winter where people don’t have enough to eat. They start to rely on the masked Jackaroo to help them get through it. But who is the masked Jackaroo?
This book wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. I thought it wa
Jessica Rawden
I really wish they had half stars on this sight, because I think this book is the perfect example of a 3 and a half star book. Jackaroo, the first book in the Kingdom series is very different from anything else I've ever read from Cynthia Voight. I really liked Gwyn, especially at the beginning of the book when Voight juxtaposed Gwyn's patience, fortitude, and against the non-virtues of her spoiled younger brother Tad. It was a great way to set the story in a few pages. I thought the entire stor ...more
Chris Hitsman
I picked this up awhile after reading Wings of a Falcon when I was younger; A, because the authors name was familiar and B, because I thought the name was funny. I had no idea that the two were intertwined until I noticed that the land/setting, “The Kingdom”, was the same. Overall this book made me realize that anyone, male or female, rich or poor, could take on a Robin Hood type role and still stand up for what is right. The plot of this book is woven like a fine rug, and the bright characters ...more
Excellent. Gwyn was not particularly unique - a fiery redheaded heroine with a strong sense of justice - but thankfully she was also sensible, and so avoided being annoying. The romance (view spoiler) I saw coming a mile off but it developed naturally and its resolution (view spoiler) made me want to start clapping. It helped that the guy was one of my favorite characters in the book. (view spoiler) ...more
The harvest has been spare and still the earls taxes more than ever, leaving the people hungry and victim to lawlessness, and fueling their talk of the legendary bandit and protector of the poor, Jackaroo. As an innkeeper’s daughter, Gwyn notices the burgeoning whispers of his reappearance, but considers them merely beautiful stories. That is until a mysterious pair of Lords come to the inn and draft her to serve them on a mapmaking sojourn North and she is faced with the mask of Jackaroo hersel ...more
This is the first of Cynthia Voigt's books I've read outside the Tillerman family. To be honest, I've only read two others of hers but I plan on reading many more. I love her detailed stories. The clearly described, feisty characters. But like Dicey, Gwyn has a quick tongue that she tries, but often fails to keep guarded as she works for the good of her family. At least from these two girls, I get a very plain physical idea. Clearly that is not what matters, it's their spirits.

To make another l
I’ve read another one of the books in this series, Elske, a couple times. It wasn’t necessary to read the other three books in the series to understand what was going on since they’re more companion novels than direct sequels, but I figured it was time to give the other three books a try.

One thing Voigt does well with these books is to draw us into the world right away. By the end of the first chapter of Jackaroo, I was fully immersed in the world of the troubled Kingdom, as seen through the eye
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Cynthia Voigt is an American author of books for young adults dealing with various topics such as adventure, mystery, racism and child abuse.

Angus and Sadie: the Sequoyah Book Award (given by readers in Oklahoma), 2008
The Katahdin Award, for lifetime achievement, 2003
The Anne V. Zarrow Award, for lifetime achievement, 2003
The Margaret Edwards Award, for a body of work, 1995
Jackaroo: Ratte
More about Cynthia Voigt...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of the Kingdom (4 books)
  • On Fortune's Wheel (Tales of the Kingdom, #2)
  • The Wings of a Falcon (Tales of the Kingdom, #3)
  • Elske (Tales of the Kingdom, #4)
Homecoming (Tillerman Cycle, #1) Dicey's Song (Tillerman Cycle, #2) A Solitary Blue (Tillerman Cycle, #3) Izzy, Willy-Nilly On Fortune's Wheel (Tales of the Kingdom, #2)

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