Recommended age: 11+

The Longbow Girl

by Linda Davies

Merry Owen discovers a lost book of Welsh legends, the Mabinogion, on her family's land. While she delights in the mystery and the stories it holds, she also fears that unearthing it may unleash sinister events.

While an archaeologist investigates the find, Merry does her own investigating and has to draw on her own formidable resources as she faces dangers in this world, and in the past.

Merry is a good horsewoman and practised in archery. She also teaches herself to swim underwater, a skill which leads her to travel back in time to a period when Henry VIII was ordering the culling of ponies just like her own.

There is so much in this book, yet it is beautifully handled. While I'm not a fan of historical themes in novels, the strong characterisation of Merry and her friend, James, meant that I was gripped throughout. And she is such a wonderful female heroine, refreshingly different from the norm. A great book!

Review date: September 2015
The Longbow Girl by Linda Davies