Sunday, August 8, 2010

Colman by Monica Furlong

Title/Author: Colman by Monica Furlong
Published: 2004 Lemniscaat Uitgeverij
How I got it: I got it at the bookstore while I was looking for the first two parts of this series, I didn't know there even was a third book at the time!
Why I read it: I loved both Juniper and Wise Child, so of course I had to read the final part to get closure.

For those of you who've never had the pleasure of reading Juniper or Wise Child, I'll sum up the story:
Juniper is the daughter of King Mark and has been pampered, but for the finishing of her education she's sent to Euny, a wise woman living in a small hut in the Other Land. Euny is in fact a doran, a wise woman who has some controll over magic, but only when it's in harmony with the natural flow of things (as in no cursing or harming of other people, except when in grave danger yourself). Juniper is trained in her ways and even has to fight off her aunt Meroot and her husband, the Grey Knight, when they try to take over the kingdom of Juniper's father.
Later on, when Juniper is all grown up, she's settled in a village and helps the people out when their sick or injured. When Leana's (Wise Child) mother Maeve dissappears, Juniper takes her into her house and teaches her the same way (but more gentle) Euny taught her. When Maeve returns, who turns out to be a black witch, Leana's loyalties are tested severely.

Now for Colman: Juniper is on trial for causing the plague in the town she and Leana live in and they are forced to flee to Juniper's homeland. When they get there, they find out Juniper's evil aunt has taken over the kingdom and imprisoned Juniper's little brother, 17-years old and the heir to the throne, his once he turns 18. Leana and Colman (Leana's cousin and close friend) infiltrate the castle where the prince is kept and try to find a way to defeat Meroot and the Grey Knight and restore prince Bragwynn to the throne.

Reading the first two books in the series was such a magical experience for me as a child, I read them over and over again. So many times my mom still recognizes the names from seeing them around (and I read a LOT of books back then). I was really excited when I discovered there was a third book, since my library didn't have that one and back then I didn't know how to look for things like that and had just accepted that the story would be unfinished. Imagine my delight at finding a way to have closure!

This book is told in Colman's point of view and he just doesn't have the same charm Juniper and Leana did. He's a likeable boy and good friend to Leana, but it's not the same. I loved the magical feeling and learning experience in the previous two and felt it was missing in this one. The climax also wasn't the sort of epic battle I expected. Still, I liked this book, it meant revisiting old friends for me and gave me closure for the story and I'm glad I read it.

The book is categorized as suitable for 12 years and older. I read the first two while I was about 8 or 9 and that's really not too young for this series. I'd recommend the whole of the series, but especially the first two to all girls this age, because it shows strong and gentle female characters, especially Juniper is a role model in my opinion.

My rating: 3 stars (for this one, the first two both get 5+ stars)

1 comment:

  1. Hello! Happy to meet you via the Book Blogger Hop!
    To some in blogger land I'm known as MissDaisyAnne. So we are both daisy's!