Review Blog

Jul 25 2016

The Tale of Gwyn by Cynthia Voigt

cover image

Tales of the Kingdom bk 1. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015. ISBN 9781481421805
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Fantasy. This reprint of Jackaroo with a new title and cover is a boon for readers who enjoy fantasy, especially one with a heroine in the vein of Robin Hood. Written in beautiful language by award winning author, Voigt, the tale of a kingdom ravaged by poverty is spell binding. There is little hope for the common people who are starving and burdened by taxes and wars until a masked outlaw called Jackaroo comes at night to leave money and assistance for the helpless. Gwyn the daughter of the innkeeper doesn't believe in fairy tales, but when she finds a mask, cloak and sword in an abandoned cottage, she finds herself searching for answers.
Gwyn is a fabulous character. She is practical and loyal, brave and daring. Although the bones of the story lie in the tale of a masked person giving to the poor, under Voigt's magical writing, the story becomes much more than that. It is a vivid depiction of a medieval type of society, with kings, earls, manors and common people, and a beautiful rendition of a young woman's coming of age. The secondary characters are fully realised and Burl the young servant at the inn is a wonderful person, stalwart, calm and helpful.
Originally I read this as Jackaroo when it was first published. I loved it then and it has stood up very well to the test of time. An outstanding book by an outstanding author.
Pat Pledger

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2018
National Book Award winners 2017
Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards 2017
YABBA Awards 2017
Teens' top 10
2017 Man Booker Prize
Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature 2017 winners
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates