Cover image for Colman
Furlong, Monica.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, [2004]

Physical Description:
267 pages ; 22 cm
After Juniper and her companions find that the Cornwall, England, castle where she was raised as a princess has been destroyed, they devise a plan to use magic to oppose the evil Meroot and the Gray Knight and to restore the authority of Prince Brangwyn.
General Note:
Sequel to: Wise child.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.3 11.0 78415.


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Set in very early Christian times,Colmanis a spellbinding fantasy of a faraway age, when the mystical and the commonplace walked hand in hand. The healer, Juniper, and her apprentice, Wise Child, are accused of witchcraft and forced to flee their small town. Wise Child's devoted cousin, Colman, escapes with them. This is his story of their arrival to the land of Juniper's birth, where she is, in fact, a princess.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-8. In a surprising turn for an author who tended to focus on wise, powerful women, Furlong's posthumous follow-up to Wise Child (1987) and uniper (1990) assumes a boy's point of view. While the second book stepped back in time to tell ofuniper's training as a doran, narrator Colman, Wise Child's devoted companion, picks up the new narrative precisely where the first book left off, just after the central characters have narrowly escapeduniper's execution as a witch. The travelers seek asylum in Cornwall, where they discover that enemies fromuniper's past have subjugated her father's people and kidnapped his heir. Colman's guileless voice is appealing, but readers may long for more dimension to his character as he serves mostly as an admiring observer of fierce Wise Child, gentleuniper, and curmudgeonly Euny, who draw upon Furlong's unique brand of earthy wisdom and white magic to restore harmony: Good things, unexpected things, happen when people who love good take risks and work together. A foreword byaren Cushman, part eulogy (Furlong died inanuary 2003), part precis of the story thus far, lends a bittersweet flavor to this long-awaited sequel. --Jennifer Mattson Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

This book completes the series that began with Wise Child, which PW called "an intriguing portrayal of an ancient way of life." Young Colman, who escaped his native land, begins to discover magical abilities of his own. Ages 10-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-This suspenseful novel concludes the saga that Furlong began in Wise Child (Turtleback, 1987) and Juniper (Knopf, 1992; o.p.), with the main characters returning to Juniper's home kingdom where she was a princess. For those who have not read the first two books, the beginning will be confusing. As the tale unfolds and the characters' personalities become evident, readers should be able to pick up the thread and follow the action. Juniper has been trained as a doran, a person with special magical gifts who strives for good in the universe. Wise Child is her apprentice, and Colman is their young friend. Another key ally from the earlier books is Cormac, a disfigured man whom Juniper has healed from leprosy. When this intrepid group arrives in Cornwall, they learn that Juniper's parents are dead. Her evil aunt, Meroot, and Meroot's Gray Knight have seized control of the kingdom and severely oppressed the people. Colman, Cormac, and Wise Child go to the palace and spy on Meroot, who is using Juniper's brother, Prince Brangwyn, the rightful heir, as a sort of regent to blackmail the survivors of the realm. The plot grows ever more complex as Juniper's mentor is found to be in service to Meroot and the children are captured and thrown in a dungeon. The story will keep readers turning pages right up to the satisfying resolution. Overall, this title is a powerful conclusion to the trilogy, but it does not stand alone as well as the other two volumes.-Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



CHAPTER ONE Four of us escaped on Finbar's ship after Juniper's trial as a witch--Juniper, Wise Child, Cormac, and me. There had been so much fear for all of us except Finbar, a terrible walk across the island for Juniper and Wise Child, and then suddenly we were all sailing across a peaceful sea, safe at last. It was only a few weeks since Juniper had lived at the white house, had taken care of my cousin Wise Child, and had helped the people of the village with remedies for their sicknesses and accidents. Then came the accusation of black magic, with the sequel of torture and possible death, and Juniper, who had been arrested and imprisoned, had only just escaped in time. And now there the five of us were on the ship, along with Finbar's men. It was a beautiful evening. Juniper and Wise Child sat in the stern of the boat watching the sunset and recovering from their ordeal, Wise Child small and dark, Juniper with her arm around her. Juniper's long black hair blew wildly about until she put her shawl over it to tame it. Cormac stood staring over the stern with his scarred, damaged face, seeing the island grow smaller and smaller. I guess he had few regrets for the place where he had known great unhappiness. Me, although I felt bad about leaving Mam and my brothers and sisters without saying goodbye, I was very glad to get away from Dad and his belt and to have started an adventure with the people I loved best, not counting my family. It was terribly exciting to be on a ship like Finbar's. It had sails, something I had never seen before. The. island boats were small and light and made out of wicker and hide, whereas Finbar's boat, like the birlinns on which I had very occasionally traveled to the mainland with my father, was made out of wood. And now, with the wind behind us, we had begun to move rapidly and would sail for distances I had barely dreamed of. Already we had passed islands of which I did not even know the names. I followed Finbar about, listening to him giving orders and imagining myself as captain of a ship. Soon Finbar suggested chores I could do like a proper sailor. One of the men showed me how to coil a rope, and Cully, the ship's cook, got me peeling vegetables in the galley. That first night was a joyful one. Finbar broached some wine, and even Wise Child and I were given a generous amount with a splash of water. It was too soon to start asking any of the difficult questions about where we would go and what we would do. We were all just glad to be together and to be safe. I did notice that Wise Child seemed a little shy of Finbar. Although he was her dad, he had been at sea for several years, and she had looked forward to his return for so long. I think she was surprised to find that he seemed like a stranger to her. Perhaps his sheer size was intimidating. Finbar was a very tall man with a beard and strong, handsome features. He had black hair and brilliant blue eyes, just like her own, along with wonderful pale skin. We enjoyed our feast--we were all really hungry--and then Finbar found beds for all of us. He turned out of his bunk and put Juniper in it. Wise Child he put in a little made-up bed on the floor. He slung hammocks for himself and for Cormac and me on the deck. I did not go to sleep for hours--it seemed a pity to waste my excitement in sleep. I loved watching the movement of the stars overhead and feeling the gentle movement of the ship. I fell asleep at last and slept well, but was awakened in the early morning by shouting. A strong wind was blowing, and the sea had become much rougher. The sailors were clambering up the mast and along the yardarm, pulling in sails and tying them into place. I hastily did up my trousers and folded my hammock, wanting to be part of it all. We were passing through a channel with land on both sides. "That's Ireland!" one of the sailors shouted to me, pointing to starboard. "They call this the North Channel!" Before I could offer my services as a sailor, Finbar ordered me down to the galley. Cully was already at work gutting some fish, and I helped him clean up afterward. "Fancy a bit of bacon, boy?" he asked when we had finished. I nodded. "The sea hasn't put you off your breakfast, then?" I thought about it. No, my stomach felt fine. "I'd like your help. There's a lot to do on a ship on a morning like this, and it's important not to get in the men's way." It occurred to me later that Finbar had asked him to tell me this in a way that did not hurt my feelings. "Have you washed?" he then surprised me by asking. I shook my head. "Must keep clean on a ship, 'specially when you're a cook." He nodded to a flagon of water in the corner with a cloth beside it, and under his eye I washed my face and hands. I had not realized sailors were so fussy. Then I started chopping onions until the tears ran down my face. I had just started on a mound of cabbage when a sailor appeared at the door. "Cap'n sends his compliments and would like to talk to you, sir," he said to me. "He's at the wheel." I was so overcome at being called "sir" that I just mumbled, "All right," but Cully prompted me quietly: "Aye, aye." I duly echoed him, then followed the sailor above deck. Finbar made a fine figure at the wheel and for a few moments did not speak to me. Finbar, I was to learn, was a man of long silences. "We're having a council of war tonight, Colman," he said at last. "All of us, to decide where to go, what to do. But I wanted to talk to you first. "It seems bad luck that you have got caught up in all this and dragged away from your family. I dare not let you go back, however. They would certainly suspect you were involved in the escape because of your friendship with Wise Child. " I nodded. If I went back, there would be endless questions, and my dad would do his best to beat the truth out of me. I was much more frightened of him than I was of Cormac's brother, Fillan, the priest who, during the time of famine and the smallpox epidemic, had roused the people against Juniper. There was little hardship for me in going on a voyage with my favorite people. The effort of explaining all this felt too great. I grinned instead and said, "I don't mind!" Finbar looked at me in a searching way with eyes that were so much like Wise Child's. Then he shook his head slightly and laughed. "So be it!" It was not till I saw Wise Child and Juniper in Finbar's cabin that evening that I realized that though they had escaped, the ordeal was not over for them. The previous night they had seemed calm, serene. Tonight, however, Juniper looked pale and drawn, entirely unlike her usual rosy self. There were shadows under her eyes, and she kept propping up her head with her hand as if she was too exhausted to hold it upright. Excerpted from Colman by Monica Furlong All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.