Book Review: “Longbow Girl” by Linda Davies

If anyone was going to travel back in time, it would be Merry Owen, whose family’s farm in Wales was granted to them hundreds of years ago after one of their ancestors, a longbowman, saved the king during a battle. Ever since then, each Owen heir has kept up the tradition of being trained in the art of the longbow, and Merry is no exception. As if her life – riding her Welsh pony Jacintha, practicing archery, riding around the Welsh countryside – didn’t already sound like something out of a fairy tale, she also lives next door to de Courcy castle, and is best friends with the heir to all that wealth, James.

When Merry uncovers an ancient book buried on the Owen land, she hopes it may be the end of her family’s financial troubles, but her discovery soon affects her life in unimaginable ways. First, someone tries to steal it – almost killing her in the process – and then she can’t keep herself from obsessing over the book’s instructions for finding a great treasure. When she follows the book’s instructions, she finds herself transported back to the 1500s, the time of Henry VIII, and her ancestors need her help.

Longbow Girl is a fun time travel story, not least of all because protagonist Merry is a BAMF. Besides being able to shoot a longbow like a pro, a skill usually assumed to be masculine because of the impressive strength required to do so, she also has one eye (an eye patch automatically makes anyone 110% cooler), and, unlike in many time-bending stories, can actually control when she moves through time. Although her friend James ends up following her back to the 1500s on one occasion, their narratives there are separate, and it’s Merry’s independence that makes this story so fun to read.

The book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but according to the internet it is the first in a trilogy – so I can’t wait to see what’s next for Merry!

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.