cover image Longbow Girl

Longbow Girl

Linda Davies. Scholastic/Chicken House, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-545-85345-3

When Merry Owen discovers an ancient text in a burial mound on her family’s property, she finds the solution to her family’s financial dilemmas and also a riddle that leads her to 1537 and the reign of King Henry VIII. Fifteen-year-old Merry, descendent of the longbow archers of Nanteos, is the Longbow Girl, trained by her father to “protect the Crown” in exchange for Welsh land. When the de Courcys of Black Castle learn of her book and her family’s troubles, they are eager to retake the land once theirs, but Merry has other ideas—outwitting the de Courcys and a treacherous archeologist by traveling back in time to defend her family’s legacy in an archery tournament. With the help of best friend James de Courcy, Merry discovers a new, confident voice within herself despite freezing dungeons and the threat of execution. Though the middle chapters are a bit sluggish, Davies’s (Ark Storm) first novel for young adults richly attends to history, weaving Welsh legends and mysticism into a story that abounds with adventure and features an uncommon heroine. Ages 12–up. Agency: AGI Vigliano Literary. (Feb.)