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Book Review: Longbow Girl by Linda Davies

* I have received this book for review from the publisher but this in no way affects my review *

Longbow GirlTitle: Longbow Girl
Author: Linda Davies
Source: Received from Publisher
Publisher: Chicken House
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary of Longbow Girl from Goodreads:

A stunningly exciting and dramatic story set in the wilds of the Welsh mountains, where the brave and beautiful Merry Owen, the Longbow girl, travels back in time to the autocratic kingdom of King Henry VIII to save her ancestors. Steeped in history, ancient lore and crackling with tension between the central characters Merry and James, Longbow girl explores the themes of who we are and who we can become when fighting for those we love and for our very lives. Are we prisoners of our history or can we break free? Can we become all that we need to be to meet the ultimate challenge of life and death in the King’s Tournament and in the dungeons of the Black Castle?

Book Review Summary:

I have always wanted to read a book set in Wales, so when Longbow Girl was recommended I jumped at the chance to read it. I really enjoyed the story; it has enjoyable characters, with an engaging plot and was very well written. Longbow Girl is definitely a book that you should pick up when you get the chance from today.


Longbow Girl is about Merry who’s family are in danger of eviction from their Welsh home, surrounded in year’s history but when Merry finds a book that could save them it may just take her back in time where her skills will be put to the test. The novel works really well against the Welsh backdrop and the scenery also works well especially in the latter parts of the novel. Let’s just say it was very well done that I want to take a trip to Wales now. Having not read a book in Wales before this was the perfect book to get started, it’s fair to say that I know that I will definitely read books set in Wales now. The plot especially in the first two-thirds of the novel was mainly scene building of the home life of the Owen family and there is a lack of action which could be a concern to some as it is stated as an adventure novel but this scene building is essential to the rest of the novel. I did find the first two thirds of the book slow at times but like previously mentioned this was a great way of world building and made me, the reader realise the peril of the Owen’s due to the history of their land and the fact that it will be a tragedy for the family to lose it. There is a dramatic change between the first two-thirds of the novel and the last third as this is filled to the brim with everything that was missing before; peril, action and lots of adventure which increased the speed of the plot and made an interesting and highly enjoyable read. 


I found all the characters in Longbow Girl really enjoyable especially James and Merry. I adored James as a character, he was not defined by who he is or what he was born into, because being born into such as a high class family wanting to be a Premier League footballer is probably not at the top of his list. James and Merry also remain best friends and will do anything for her even though their families have an ongoing feud, which remains throughout the entire novel. I also enjoyed the character of Merry, she was a strong female character, in the good sense of the trope and she can look after herself and her family although only being 15. Although I did find her immature for her age sometimes, this may have just been the nature of the novel being middle grade in its nature and even then she is only sometimes immature. There was character development for Merry throughout the novel and I felt like she did mature over the course of the story. I also commend Davies for giving Merry a disability, only having one eye as she hurt herself while practising with a Longbow, as she is not defined by this, still carrying on with the longbow and fighting for her family in the last third of the book. Some of the side characters in my opinion were not as developed compared to Merry and James but this may be because they are in the novel less. 


Longbow Girl in my opinion was a well-written book. Davies was able to intertwine the Welsh countryside and the history was done extremely well by the fact that it was not overwhelming as a reader. The history was in a small portion but enough for someone who was interested in the topic to learn more. I always prefer third person more than first, and it was done well in this book including both Merry and James’s point of view which is especially good in the third part of the book. Overall the book was well-written including great descriptions of the Welsh scenery and history to the novel.  

The Verdict:

Longbow Girl is a well-written middle grade novel which has enjoyable characters and has a plot filled with history and adventure. It is the perfect book for anyone looking for a Welsh adventure. 

Have you read Longbow Girl? Did you like it? Leave it in the comments below.

Hope you enjoyed this review.

See you soon, 

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