Juniper (Doran #2)

Title: Juniper

Author: Monica Furlong

Series: Doran #2

The only child of a king and queen, Ninnoc has been blessed with education as well as luxury. But the traces of power in her are calling her towards a different destiny than to inherit the throne. When she goes to train with her godmother, she hopes to learn the secrets of the doran. Instead, she’s mostly taught healing artes. Will her power be enough against the evil magic set against her father’s kingdom?

First of all, ignore the series number. I read this first because it’s listed as a prequel, and there’s nothing in the story that stops it from being read with no knowledge going in.

This is a more character-focused book. We follow Ninnoc (Juniper) as she traces back through her earliest memories to her young adulthood. It’s an interesting journey, but it can be rather slow for those more inclined to read action-focused plots.  Juniper herself is rather dreamy—I was amused at how Euny basically had to train her out of that.

My favorite character, though, was Gamal. Whereas Juniper’s problems are all fairly low-key for the majority of the book, Gamal’s stuck from the beginning with a mother who wants to make him over into her own creation. He’s set to learning to be a warrior from his youngest days, when he’s really more interested in being a musician. The tension between being an obedient son and following his heart’s desire is a more compelling story—especially when his mother decides to go all out in a bid for the throne.

Overall this was a decent read, though not one that particularly sticks with me. I’ll probably go on to read Wise Child eventually. I rate this book Recommended.

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