Wise Child

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In a remote Scottish village, nine-year-old Wise Child is taken in by Juniper, a healer and sorceress. Then Wise Child’s mother, Maeve, a black witch, reappears. In choosing between Maeve and Juniper, Wise Child discovers the extent of her supernatural powers—and her true loyalties.--from the publisher

240 pages                 978-0394891057 (Hardcover)                   Ages 12-15

Sequels:  Juniper; Colman

*****************

In this exciting, well-written fantasy, the setting (Britain in the Dark Ages) is as much a character as Wise Child and her guardian Juniper. Orphaned by the death of her grandmother and her sailor-father's disappearance, Wise Child chooses to become the ward of Juniper, the village wise woman who is healer, midwife and witch. Under Juniper's kind but stern tutelage, Wise Child thrives, learning herb lore, reading and basic survival in those difficult times. Wise Child manages to live between the Church represented by the grim village priest and the witchcraft that Juniper would have her learn. This delicate balance is destroyed by the coming of Maeve, Wise Child's mother, who had abandoned her. Her evil awakens the real power of Wise Child as well as the superstitions of the village, rendering the trial of Juniper for witchcraft inevitable. Self-realization enables Wise Child to save both herself and Juniper in an exciting climax. Though the ending may strike some as too easy, this is an intriguing portrayal of an ancient way of life, and Wise Child is an engaging heroine. --From Publisher's Weekly

 

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