On Fortune's Wheel - Cynthia Voigt

This is the sequel to Jackaroo, set in the same universe but two generations after the previous book; On Fortune's Wheel is again the story of a young girl from that family, another Innkeeper's Daughter like the last. Birle has agreed to marry a huntsman, even though she's only just of marriageable age, but is getting cold feet. When she spots a mysterious stranger stealing her father's boat, Birle intervenes and ends up travelling downriver with him.

The mysterious stranger is, of course, much more than he immediately appears and Birle is determined to go along with him, regardless of what he might think. This is a decision that will ultimately lead to much heartbreak for Birle, who is thrown from a structured society she knows and understands into one where slavery is commonplace. Her companion fares even worse than she does, though there's some resolution for both of them in the end.

I have to say, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did Jackaroo, mostly because I found Birle annoyingly passive. Unlike her grandmother, the protagonist in the previous book, Birle allows herself to be pushed along by events, rarely taking charge of what is going on, while also pining about what and who she has lost - very attractive if you're a teenager, feeling that the world is against you, but damn annoying reading for an adult. The series continues in The Wings of a Falcon, but I'm not sure if I'll read it or not, given my disappointment with On Fortune's Wheel.