by Cynthia Voight
First sentence: “What she saw first was a moving shadow.”
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One of the benefits of having a blog and rereading a book, is going back and looking at what you wrote about it the first time. At which point, you cringe, and think to yourself, “Dang, I’ve gotten so much better at this blogging thing!”
My last sentence still stands, though: this book is a pleasure to read.
It follows Birle, the daughter of an Innkeeper, who is monumentally unhappy with her life. She’s just agreed to get married, mostly out of desperation, when she spots someone trying to steal a boat from her father. Being a bit foolhardy, she takes off after the thief, and ends up on Fortune’s Wheel. The thief turns out to be Orien, the grandson of the Earl, who is running from his fate as the Earl to be. Their fortune goes from bad to worse as they are marooned on an island, and from there sold into slavery. Throughout it, though, they have the love that they developed for each other. And fortune, for better or for ill.
It’s a lovely, simple story, elegantly told. Voight is a master storyteller, and even if there wasn’t a whole lot going on plot-wise, she manages to make the characters and the situations compelling enough that it doesn’t matter if there’s not much going on. Voight doesn’t go in for flashy things, especially in this historical-feeling book. There’s no magic, no grand intrigue, just two people going through life trying to make the best of the situations thrown at them.
Which makes it an absolutely beautiful book.