Friday, 7 August 2015

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Linda Davies - Longbow Girl - Book Review - Chicken House


Linda Davies has written five bestselling adult novels and has sold millions of copies worldwide. A former investment banker, she has now turned her talented hand to writing for children. Her first book "Longbow Girl" which is aimed at the 10+ age range will be published by Chicken House on the 3rd September 2015. 

The book cover is not my personal favourite as, in my opinion, it does not reflect the story inside. However, don't be fooled by the cover as the story is fantastically immersive and incredibly vivid from the very first page to the final page. The author has made a fantastic transition from writing adult fiction to children's fiction in the blink of an eye. 

The plot is set in modern day time against the wild backdrop of the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons and is stunningly told. You will find yourself being whisked away on a Welsh pony into a beautiful and descriptive landscape that will have you galloping into an unknown adventure and beyond. However, past and present soon collide into an explosive world filled with treasure, secrets and untold danger. The story covers mythology and draws upon the historical times of King Henry VIII and his dictatorial rule. Steeped in ancient lore, the plot is a cauldron of tension, action and mystery that will have you hooked in traditional classical storytelling. 

Merry Owen is a well rounded character and has been written particularly well in my opinion. She is strong willed, intelligent and fiercely talented with a Longbow; a tradition that has been passed down through her family. When she discovers a lost book of Welsh legends, could this be the answer to her family's financial struggles? 

The story is cleverly constructed and told with historical passion. Family life and the interaction between Merry and James give it a big sense of adventure. The plot is full of feeling and emotions that are explored throughout and work really well. The story is grounded in reality and modern day setting which offsets the time travel aspect and enables the plot lines to be tied all neatly together. 

This is a great story of family survival; a fight to save who we are and who we can become. It delves into history through the extraordinary events at the Battles of Crecy and Agincourt. The story is imaginative, very creative and well thought out. It incorporates extensive historical research which makes this book a fantastic and memorable read. 
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