The stunningly written start to an exciting new trilogy about a smart, strong, bold girl who travels back in time to protect her family's past and ensure its future using her archery skills.
Set in the wilds of the Welsh mountains, the brave and beautiful longbow girl, Merry Owen, discovers a river that takes her back in time to the autocratic kingdom of King Henry VIII. While there she finds she must compete in an archery tournament to save her ancestors' land from being seized by their aristocratic neighbors the de Courcys. Merry's best friend James de Courcy (and heir to the de Courcy wealth) follows her back in time and the two get tangled up in their families' ancient histories. There are forces working against them both in the past and the present. Will they be able to survive their pasts to save their futures?
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.