I’m so excited to be rounding off the blog tour for The Siege of Caerlaverock. Huge congratulations to Barbara and the lovely people at Cranachan for this fabulous publication, and thank you for inviting me to be part of it.
Author(s): Barbara Henderson
Publisher: Cranachan Publishing
Publication date: August 2020
12-year-old Ada is a laundress of little consequence, but the new castle commander Brian de Berclay has his evil eye on her. Perhaps she shouldn’t have secretly fed the young prisoner in the tower.
But when the King of England crosses the border with an army over 3000 strong, Ada, her friend Godfrey and all at Caerlaverock suddenly find themselves under attack, with only 60 men for protection.
Soon, rocks and flaming arrows rain from the sky over Castle Caerlaverock—and Ada has a dangerous choice to make.
The wonderful Barbara Henderson is back with another fast-paced adventure, The Siege of Caerlaverock. Unlike The Wilderness Wars, which I previously reviewed, we’ve gone back in time to 13th Century* Scotland to the year 1300. We meet a young laundress, Ada, who finds herself in the thick of a siege led by the King of England, Edward Longshanks. But Ada discovers there is a traitor within the castle walls, who is only concerned about lining his own pockets…
Ada is hands-down the best thing about this book. She is a devout young girl who oozes altruism without being deferential and submissive. She has a firm understanding of right and wrong and is brave enough to challenge those who are wrongdoers.
As a reflection of a piece of history, Henderson brings the siege of Caerlaverock to life, with the castle walls falling down around you and the smell of hot oil. This book does not shy away from the brutalities of battles during the Middle Ages but stops short of describing the violence in any detail, so you can rest assured you or young readers will not encounter any graphic scenes.
Sketches of Caerlaverock and a glossary of terms help bring this book together (and assist those of us who might have no idea what a wimple is) making it ideal for independent readers or those who are newly independent.
The Siege of Caerlaverock is altogether a fun, fast-paced, and wonderful book that draws together strong female characters and the history of Scotland.
*I fact-checked this. The 13th century ended on 31st December 1300, not 31st December 1299!
Many thanks to for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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What do you think of The Siege of Caerlaverock? Will you be reading it? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a wonderfully bookish week,