These companion historical fictions are set in the medieval days of village healers and midwives who were often called witches because they employed herbal healing arts and worshipped pagan deities instead of the Christian god. The story begins in Juniper with Ninnoc, a spoiled castle princess-brat, who is used to luxury and always getting her own way. Her royal parents have another plan for her, and apprentice her to Euny, a strange old woman who lives alone in the woods. Euny teaches Ninnoc the ways of herbs and magic, and though her teacher is often harsh, Ninnoc ends up becoming a knowledgeable young doran, or witch, and taking the name Juniper. Juniper ends up using her new powers for good and saving her parents from losing their kingdom and castle to her father’s sister, an evil worker of magic. Wise Child continues Juniper’s story, only it is told in the voice of Wise Child, a village orphan who is adopted by the grown Juniper and trained in the art of natural healing. Wise Child’s knowledge and loyalty is tried when her real mother, a witch of the black arts, tries to lure her back and Juniper is accused by the village priest of witchcraft. Wonderfully crafted novels with tons of historical detail and Celtic folklore woven throughout, Juniper and Wise Child are gentle Wiccan fantasy fictions.
Juniper and Wise Child by Monica Furlong