Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wise Child by Monica Furlong

Wise Child by Monica Furlong is one of those books that I am amazed not to have discovered earlier. It is the sort of book that I would have relished as a teen -- I relished it now.

Wise Child finds herself on her own after the death of her grandmother. Her mother has long since left the village, and her seafaring father cannot be depended upon to provide for her well-being. The village priest asks the parishioners to take Wise Child in as an act of charity, but the whole village is surprised when Juniper, the village witch, offers to take the child in. Under Juniper's care, Wise Child learns about herb lore and healing, and real magic as well. Wise Child learns to love her unusual guardian. But when the tide of sentiment in the village turns against Juniper, will Wise Child and Juniper be able to avoid a terrible fate?

There's wonderful character development here, as well as some very nice worldbuilding. I would like to have a while to explore Juniper's house, which strikes me as a very comfortable and satisfying dwelling. Wise Child comes across as a little bit spoiled at the beginning of the book, but even so I found her sympathetic and interesting. Definitely recommended.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)


  1. Just started reading this. So far, so good.

    I'd be reading more of these, except my library system is a wee bit small and doesn't have many of the books. Though I plan to start lobbying for Team Human shortly.

  2. Glad you're liking it.

    I have to admit, working at a library that is part of a huge statewide consortium has me majorly spoiled -- unless a book is brand new or extremely obscure, I can probably get it through my library system. It's a luxury that I probably shouldn't take for granted so much, since I have lived in places with much more limited library systems.