LONGBOW GIRL by Linda Davies


Age Range: 12 - 16
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A high-stakes time-travel mystery/adventure set in the wild Welsh hills.

Fifteen-year-old Merry Owen, primed by a decade of training that cost her an eye three years ago, is the first female heir of her family's 700-year-old pledge to protect the Crown by the skill of the longbow, a now-honorary tradition that goes back to the Battle of Crécy in 1346. Her family lives on land carved out from the estate of the Earl de Courcy. Davies, in her wonderfully suspenseful debut for teens, sets up an essential central conflict: the ongoing enmity between the Owens and the de Courcys, which Merry and James de Courcy, best friends and fellow risk-takers, must negotiate. This intricately crafted story pivots when Merry discovers a hidden burial mound and an ancient-looking book which is later verified as an extremely valuable lost tale of the Mabinogion. The book, translated in bits, refers to another land and treasures, "a warrior bold, who comes from far away," and is filled with lyrical riddles and clues that lead Merry to a stream, a waterfall, and a concealed cave, a portal back to 1537, during the rule of Henry VIII, where danger lurks at every turn, and it's up to Merry and her archery prowess to save her family's land both then and now.... 

Davies' love of history and folklore shine through this exciting and gripping tale of a resourceful, brave, and complex girl. (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-545-85345-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2015


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