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On Fortune's Wheel (Tales of the Kingdom, #2)
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On Fortune's Wheel

(Tales of the Kingdom #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,040 ratings  ·  190 reviews
There are some who say that the Lady Fortune
has a wheel, and all men are fixed upon it.
The wheel turns, and the men rise, or fall,
with the turning of the wheel.

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 stealin

Paperback, 402 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Simon Pulse (first published 1990)
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Jerusha No, you can read it without reading Jackaroo. If i remember correctly, it only alludes to it once or twice, but you don't miss anything if you haven't…moreNo, you can read it without reading Jackaroo. If i remember correctly, it only alludes to it once or twice, but you don't miss anything if you haven't read it.(less)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  3,040 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Far and away one of my favorite series of all time. The kingdom series is brilliant. Not only for the very subtle modern allegories tucked into a generally well written fairytale/fable/medieval-ish story, but this series has two assets that I love:

A: You don't have to read them in order. They are very loosely tied together through tiny hints throughout the books. I had many "ooohhhhhhhhh" moments when you figure out how they relate. I think this might be my favorite part of the series.

B: You don
Katie M.
Jun 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Innkeeper's daughter, check. Made-up 16th-century England-ish land, check. Implausible romance, check. Okay, so if you're only going to read one Cynthia Voigt book make it one of the Tillerman novels and not this one. But good LORD I love this story. It's everything a completely-un-thought-provoking Anglocentric young adult historical fantasy should be: slightly dark, exciting, hopelessly romantic, and completely satisfying. As far as tropes go, I could do without the childlike-giant-with-heart- ...more
May 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Ultimately, this is quiet and satisfying, but for a good half of the book, I was wondering why I should care about this story and these people. It turns out that an acknowledgement of the time you're spending on a book by an author you like isn't enough to actually invest you in the story.

I wish there'd been more initially: more emotion, more purpose, more direction. Instead, I was left with the uncomfortable feeling that these terrible experiences were glossed over because they were devices me
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Poshdeluxe
Cover Story: Old Old School
BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Classic Fantasy
Bonus Factors: Hero's Journey, Feminism
Relationship Status: Happily Ever After

Read the full book report here.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Like many other reviewers, this novel has been sitting on my shelf for years. I remember reading this novel as a teen and remembered LOVING it!!! But with all books revisited, would I feel the same way many years later? It turns out this book was so much better than I previously thought. All I remembered was that the girl Birle met the boy Orien on a boat. How could I forget the rest?

I will not make that mistake again. In the past two years, I’ve come across so many very well written and intric
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Cynthia Voigt’s On Fortune’s Wheel tells the story of two runaway teenagers and their eventual return to their homeland. The central character, Birle, is the younger of the two, and she follows the elder, Orien, who is escaping from his hereditary earldom to leave it to his brother. Birle, though seemingly mature, and about to be married, actually seems more childlike than she realizes—she tells Orien of her machinations to avoid the chores assigned by her stepmother Nan or to foist the work on ...more
Destinee Sutton
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
I just finished reading Tuck Everlasting, which had this recurring wheel imagery and it reminded me of a book I completely loved when I was twelve or so (I was reminded of it just because of the wheel thing--not because they're similar books). So I type in "wheel" and "fortune" and up it popped, this Cynthia Voigt book. It's not the same cover as the one I had, but I know it's the same book because I remember having a pretend boyfriend named Orien. He was dreamy. I think I can even remember the ...more
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-clubs
This book was just okay. I didn't love it. There was a strange writing style that didn't resonate with me. The book was from one person's perspective, but the writing style almost gave me a kind of distant feel instead of really interesting the reader into the events. It's difficult to describe, but I almost got the sense that the main character had no emotional feelings, and was just trying to pretend she did. This wasn't the case; the issue was just the writing style.

She clearly had feelings,

Sweet story, but was a little too slow and quiet—even the action seemed dimmed, in a way—to really hold my interest.
Tracy Smyth
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great 2nd book in the series. The main character (a young girl) is a very strong willed young lady. The story flows well
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes historical romance or young adult fantasy.
Recommended to Ilana by: Becca Howe
Shelves: fantasy, mg-and-ya
I'm actually not sure whether this book was meant for young adults or an older audience, but I think it would be fine for all ages. The characters in this book are amazingly well developed and dynamic and I love almost all of them. This is one of those fantasy books where a lot of time passes throughout the story and I could feel it passing even though it skipped around like crazy when nothing important was going on. It was not boring in the slightest and though the plot was definitely not surpr ...more
Mar 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, I did a book report in the eighth grade on this book and I randomly remembered it the other day. Someone was reading a book by Cynthia Voigt, and I thought "I know that author, where have I seen that author?" So I went and looked at her works and the only one that was familiar was this one. I can't believe that an author's name looked familiar when the last time I saw it was almost a decade ago, but there ya go.
This is definitely a book to read again.
I barely remember it, but I do remember
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I blazed through this book in two days. Birle herself was an utterly compelling heroine--childlike, flawed and human, brave, loyal, and loving. Orien frustrated me at times and at times made me swoon. The story itself is exciting and fraught with danger. The romance and its flowering threaded gently through the plot and provided sound motivation. I also loved how, as the wheel of fortune turns, the characters themselves make their own fortune. The prose was beautiful without being overly ornate ...more
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, re-read
Ok. So ... this was a re-read and I didn't read it cover to cover .... but I've read this book probably 12 times. (At least.)

Cornflower blue - and then the salt mines, and the nannies and the billies and how she'll keep him in her heart until he returns and oh my GOD I love this book, and anyone who said YA is a new genre (even those saying so in the 00s) were fucking IDIOTS.
... So yes. I feel strongly about this.

Terrific book, terrific author, such an epic story, awesome heroine - and oh. Ever
Beautifully written. I could read this book over and over again. I completely feel in love with the characters of Orien and Birle the moment they appeared in the book. I love Orien so much i have vowed to name my first son after him. The plot is intriguing and full of twists and turns. You find yourself rooting for Birle throughout the story and wishing you were there with her. I don't want to say anyone except go pick up this book! ...more
Nov 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I cannot believe Birle just took off like that! Something really bad could have happened to her. Oh, wait. That's exactly what did happen. Will someone come to save her? Cynthia Voight sure can tell a story! ...more
Dec 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read this book over and over in my teens and loved it. It's a beautiful love story.

I've never actually read Jackaroo, though I'd like to now, and never knew that it was a "second book" as it really stood solid on it's own.
Oct 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
I found this book in the young adult section of the library on my way to the children's section. I am a sucker for historical fiction, with a romantic twist. I really liked it.

Dec 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Love story: medieval adventure: slavery, prince, giants. This books is STILL amazing as an adult.
Sep 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am passing on beloved books to make room for more. I really must share my enjoyment of Cynthia Voigt's Kingdome series! ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read my review on Forever Young Adult:

Cynthia Voigt's On Fortune's Wheel chronicles the revolving fortune of Birle as through the novel she inhabits various roles: Innkeeper's daughter, an amanuensis and slave for a philosopher in a different land, and the Earl's Lady. Throughout her shifting fortune, Birle remains practical and true to her word. Birle's love interest in the novel, Orien, also goes through his own upheavals in fortune. Birle falls in love with Orien fairly early in the novel seemingly due to his beauty, proximity, a

Jamie Dacyczyn
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ok, so I'm not losing my mind; there IS a right way to do YA adventure fantasy even with insta-love, and this is it. I thought maybe I just didn't like fantasy anymore because I've come across so many popular books that I just didn't enjoy, but I think it's more accurate to say that I don't like NEW popular YA fantasy all that much. This feels a bit more like classic YA fantasy of the Robin McKinley era, with a rich full world and characters that don't just feel like modern teenagers running aro ...more
Classroom Kitty
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an excerpt of a review that was originally published on my website: Miss Jenny's Classroom

I first read this novel back in grade 8 at high school and loved it so much I spent years trying to obtain my own copy. Like all Cynthia Voigt books this story has many layers and is not always the happiest of experiences but this novel will make you ponder on the characters and experiences long after you have finished reading it.

Birle is a flawed character and this makes her easy to relate to. She
Octavia Cade
Not quite as good as Jackaroo, the first in the series, but still a decent read. The step down is I think because of the protagonist Birle, who while likeable enough (I enjoyed her determination and hard work and honesty) seemed to fall in instalove with Orien and moon over him for ages for no good reason I could see. I mean he was mildly pleasant, but when the book seemed to end with her getting over him to live her own life I was genuinely pleased. The romance was the least convincing part of ...more
Cricket Muse
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fans of Cynthia Voigt’s Jackaroo anticipating the same adventure found in her tale reminiscent of Robin Hood, might be disappointed in that On Fortune’s Wheel strays from Jackaroo’s legend. However, Birle’s story is one told in the same setting of the mythical Kingdom with the same eloquence of detail and characterization as Jackaroo. Appreciate it as as a stand alone. Told in an unhurried pace, Birle and Orien’s story is a worthwhile tale of appreciating one’s situation—for better or worse.

As I
I really wish I could give this 4 stars, but when I feel that I can not pass this book on to a friend, for whatever reason, I can't give it the 4- 5 star rating that it is a "must read". The storyline was good, the characters need more fleshing out, but the setting descriptions were very good. Horrible things happen in stories just as they do in real life, but if one section of this book had not been mentioned, I would have rated a 5 stars. Even though I read Historical books, I avoid reading an ...more
Dec 27, 2017 added it
Shelves: ya
So far this series is so lonely, quiet, simple... just a bit odd, but for some reason I like it! And I feel like it's totally forgotten even though Cynthia Voigt is pretty famous? It feels very unlike current action-packed YA (and though it's set in an ancient-feeling fantasy kingdom there's no magic!) but I like the slow pace and sad, isolated, old-fashioned feeling. In some ways the world reminds me a little bit of Ursula Le Guin's later Earthesea books where the focus is less on magic and mor ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main characters of this book are descendants from the main characters of the previous book, but this is merely mentioned, and not terribly important. You could easily read either as a stand alone.

Birle is another example of a common person who gets tangled up with a Lord, and the resultant clash of class systems leads them on quite an adventure. There's also a slow burning romance, and quite some suffering along the way to the happy ending.
Lindsay Mackie
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published as "On Fortune's Wheel," I read this book when I was 12 or 13 and I absolutely loved it. Twenty-five years later and parts of this book always stuck with me and stayed in my memory. It took some research to find out that the title had been changed but the story is still the same. A wonderful tale of adventure and romance, it is one that I look forward to reading again in the future. ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Tales of the Kingdom (4 books)
  • Jackaroo (Tales of the Kingdom, #1)
  • The Wings of a Falcon (Tales of the Kingdom, #3)
  • Elske (Tales of the Kingdom, #4)

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45 likes · 7 comments
“People had no more choice than animals about the burdens they carried.” 5 likes
“...When this map was made, there was only empty forest in the south," Gran told Birle.
"Not empty," Granda corrected her. "The forest is never empty.”
More quotes…