Colman – Monica Furlong
When Wise Child and Juniper’s lives are endangered, Wise Child’s best friend and cousin Colman comes to their rescue–he and Cormac the leper help the two women escape. The four flee aboard Finbar’s ship and sail for Cornwall, Juniper’s birthplace, only to find that things there are not as she left them. Her parents are dead, their castle burned to the ground; her baby brother, now a teen, is held captive by Meroot. Juniper and Finbar must save the kingdom just as they did when they were children themselves, now with Wise Child, Cormac, and Colman to help them–but it will be dangerous, and Wise Child’s in a foul temper, and Colman doesn’t trust his own growing doranic powers. They might have a chance to save the young prince and the rest of Cornwall–if they can survive that long.
Colman, the third book in your series, is definitely one I haven’t read before–because it didn’t come out until 2004, long after I read Wise Child and Juniper. How exciting it must have been for fans of your work to finally read a third book! I know I was very pleased to have it to hand, and it definitely lived up to the example of the previous two. I think what’s so satisfying about it is that you made the marvelous choice to not only continue on from the suspenseful ending to Wise Child, but also to revisit the plot, and attendant dangers, of Juniper. You satisfied my urges to hear continuations of both stories at the same time, and it made the drama of Colman all the more urgent–everything seemed to be finally wrapping up. I loved Colman’s voice as the narrator; his bafflement at Wise Child’s moods and his sometimes clueless, sometimes brilliant assessments of what was happening around him were always a delight. I read some criticism that didn’t like the switch to a male perspective, but I actually found it to be a great way to get a different perspective on Juniper and Wise Child, both of whom I’ve become very fond. Also, why shouldn’t a boy have a turn at some mystical powers? The only other male sorcerer in the books is Meroot’s evil husband, and I’m glad you used Colman to show the other side of the coin–a boy who has power, but is as uncertain and stumbling as anyone else, slowly learning to use it and trust it. You get five stars again, and my thanks, for a wonderful journey.
PS–This one is also my favorite cover of the three. That’s the Dillons being all awesome and stuff again. It makes me want to go back and reread The Abhorsen Trilogy, just to have a few days’ worth of ogling those covers.