Longbow Girl is a book that combines all the elements I love: YA, historical fiction, a kick-ass female narrator and a non-romantic story. What more can a girl ask for?
A stunningly exciting and dramatic story set in the wilds of the Welsh mountains, where the brave and beautiful Merry Owen, the Longbowgirl, travels back in time to the autocratic kingdom of King Henry V111 to save her ancestors.
Steeped in history, ancient lore and crackling with tension between the central characters Merry and James, Longbowgirl 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?
Main character that you have to fall in love with
The reason this book worked so well for me was the main character Merry. As I've said time and time again, characters really are the reason I stick with a story and Merry was one of the most enjoyable characters to read. She's young, but so passionate about her longbow training that it is inspiring. The Owen family has been the longbow family for centuries, but Merry is the first girl being trained. Not only is it kick-ass that she can handle such a big bow, she also lost sight in one eye which makes it even harder for her.
Does that stop Merry?
No, nothing ever does. She's a narrator that goes after what she wants and who isn't afraid to own up to her mistakes. She makes plenty of them, she is not even close to a perfect character, but the fact that she always tries to fix them makes her a great character.
People who know me might be aware of a little obsession I have called The Tudors. I love everything Henry VIII and I was so pleasantly surprised that this book plays with history. When you start reading it, it seems like it will all stay in contemporary times, but there are some great twists and turns in the story that really let you live in King Henry VIII's era and the world he created.
Here, we must take a moment to praise Linda Davies. Historical fiction is tricky enough - contemporary fiction with a heavy interchange with history must be even harder. However, she seamlessly combines history and present together and makes sure that every detail of every setting is realistic. Not only that, the book is easy to read and there are enough plot twists to constantly make you want to read more. Do you want to feel like you've suddenly ended up in a Tudors episode? Then you have to read this book.
The combination of an amazing, and completely unexpected, story and a main character that I was rooting for throughout the whole book means that I absolutely loved this book. It was as drama-filled as Tudors episode while more relatable due to the contemporary setting. If you want to read historical fiction with a twist, then this is the book for you.