THE WINGS OF A FALCON by Cynthia Voigt


Age Range: 12 & up
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In the mythical land of Jackaroo (1985), another long tale crowded with action and driven by its themes, with well- individualized characters carefully devised to enact them. Slaves Oriel and his loyal friend Griff are reared by the brutal Damall in his island stronghold. Courageous and quick-witted, Oriel survives this vicious society's intricacies of betrayal and trust to be chosen the Damall's heir, a role he evades by fleeing. He and Griff settle near the mainland town of Selby--an oasis in an endless, bloody war of succession--where they persuade the people to give up their divisive allegiances and choose leaders to rule in concert. Then, still in their teens, the two are captured by Wolfers--lawless predators whose cruel abuse they escape to enter the Kingdom to the north, where an earldom is to be won in mortal combat. Oriel's rare gifts bear fruit when he persuades several fine contenders to support one of their number, preventing a wasteful carnage--but the outcome is not so simple. A betrayal transforms the political landscape; and power falls, surprisingly, to a wise and compassionate man who has never imagined himself a leader. Voigt skillfully sustains a heroic tone while challenging heroic models at every turn. In scene after scene, with nobility and charismatic Çlan, Oriel confronts the terrible choices men demand of each other; but this superhero also has a true sense of justice and strives for a rule of law that is tempered, in the end, with more mercy than he has envisaged. Grand, thought-provoking entertainment. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-590-46712-3
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1993


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