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#73 Juniper by Monica Furlong

After suffering a bit from book ADD (you know, you pick book after book from your shelf and nothing is quite right) I figured the safest path for reading satisfaction was to pick up an old favorite. That’s how I found my way to Juniper, one of my first young adult books, first experienced when I was in middle school (which, I’m beginning to realize, was a pretty long time ago). It tells the story of a young girl named, Ninnoc, only child of King Mark of Cornwall. Ninnoc starts off the story living a privileged existence, and is a little spoiled as a result. She’s sent away to live with Euny, a wise woman, for a year and a day, to learn how become a doran, sort of a white/earth witch. When she returns to her home, she discovers that an evil sorceress is threatening the lives of her family and country. It will take all of her bravery and training to succeed.

It’s been over ten years since I read Juniper, and reading it again a comforting experience. I found I actually remembered little from my original reading experience (save for the scene Juniper/Ninnoc has to kill the pig. That one really sticks with me for some reason), so it was like I was experiencing certain parts for the first time. As someone who enjoys reading books where people learn how to practice magic, this book was really meant for me. Despite the fact that most people wouldn’t consider it fast paced, I found that I pretty much flew through it. One thing I didn’t pick up on my first reading is how Euny’s treatment of Juniper may, by today’s standards, be considered abusive. This was a bit of a shock. One thing I noticed while reading this book is how different young adult books are today, as opposed to when this was published (1990). The writing style is simpler and more concentrated (just what I needed), and the young characters seem very innocent when compared to say, The Hunger Games, which I also read this month. As a consumer of young adult lit, I found these trends to be very interesting.

Juniper is a nice read, with good solid writing and a likable heroine. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a short but satisfying read of historical fantasy.

Rating: four and a half stars
Length: 198 pages
Source: shelf
TBR Pile: 144 books
Similar Books: For books about learning magic, check out The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling, and A College of Magics by Caroline Stevenmer. This book should also appeal to fans of Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwater Series.
Other books I've read by this author: Wise Child

I've also finished an audiobook lately, Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris. That review is coming up.

xposted to bookish  and temporaryworlds 


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
Oooohhhh, I'd forgotten about this book-- a friend had loaned it to me and I loved it.

You might enjoy:

Sabriel, by Garth Nix
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, by Patricia McKillip
Beauty, by Robin McKinley

Aug. 22nd, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
You're right. Those are books that I'd enjoy. I've read all three and liked them. Sabriel is one of my favorites :)
Aug. 22nd, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
I have heard rumors that Nix is going to write another installment in the Abhorsen series. Just rumors, though-- nothing on the usual websites that I check.
Aug. 22nd, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
I distinctly remember information about a new Abhorsen book up on his website, as well as hints about a graphic novel version of Sabriel, but they're both down now. I guess it didn't work out?
Aug. 22nd, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
I suppose not-- and yeah, I'd heard about the graphic novel, too. I'll have to check on the street date at a bookstore and see if they have any idea.
Aug. 23rd, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
If you find anything out, let me know!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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