What fans say

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It’s well conceived and vividly rendered and whilst not particularly long there’s an economy to Gray’s prose that encourages the imagination to find full form whilst she weaves a delightful web of intrigue.

Enchanting to the last page, Archer has the feel of an epic saga in the making and is sure to find an enthusiastic following amongst younger readers. Definitely deserving of a place on your bookshelf, it is highly recommended.

Teens and Young-at-heart
Anil, age 11
“My mum was planning to read the book before I did but I insisted on reading it first so she has to wait. So far your book has been one of the best I've read in years. I'm looking forward to your next book if you are publishing one. Best wishes for becoming an author, I hope you do, good luck.”

Callum, age 14
“Archer takes you into his world and you can feel the atmosphere of his surroundings.”

Chloe’, age 11
“An exhilarating story that sucks you in so it feels like you’re actually there. Pure genius.”

Joe, age 16
“The action scenes are so exciting it’s like watching a film.”

Jaime B, USA
“I FINALLY finished Archer! Oh I LOVED it!!! I had so many favorite parts! I love the part that they get into trouble with the renegates, and the whole story about how he made his bow, and his connection with her ... I'm in fantasy land ♥”

Drama Cat, Amazon reader (age 12)
“Archer was amazing! I couldn't put it down, it only took me two days to read it when it normally takes me a week. If I met Archer I would have a lot of questions to ask him about what it is like to live in his world. I love the way the girls get to do archery and the rings and I would love to do all the drama bits. Archer was so brave when he stood up to the terrifying Renegates and was even cheeky to them. The book was so good, I know that there will be a movie someday and I hope it's sooner rather than later!”

Re-enactors, Historians and Spiritual Types
Kevin Hicks, Archer and Historical Actor, Warwickshire, UK
“Jacky has nailed the character of a medieval archer and the books are a thrilling blend of action and rich historical detail.”

Kerry-lyn Tosh, Spiritual Healer/Teacher, West Midlands, UK
“Archer’s People of the Horse live their lives in harmony, honouring the seasons with ancient rituals and using the healing power of the earth.”

The Bearded Dragon, Re-enactor, UK
“Archer is a great read, that once I started I just had to keep going. As a medieval re-enactor myself I found Archer very close to heart with what I do as a hobby. Jacky has achieved a great sense of being in the setting of a Medieval village and the events leading up to Archer's graduation. The relationship between Archer and his fellow companions lead you into an enthralling adventure of training, learning and achieving great goals.”

Sarah Dyer, Herbalist, Lake District, UK
“Archer is fascinating and captivating! I love the way the characters, scenes and general description of Archer's world are portrayed so eloquently. Jacky Gray not only tells a wonderful tale; she manages to capture the sounds, smells and emotional energies of his world.”

Sharon Kemp, via Facebook, UK
“I have to say I loved Archer so much. I can't explain how this book makes me feel, thank you so much. I am reading Rory now - I am so glad to hear there are other books 'coz I was thinking I want to read more.”

Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, Bristol University, UK
“I enjoyed 'Archer', an engaging story whose Pagan spirituality is gently and attractively presented. Jacky has produced a credible parallel universe, a combination of the English middle ages blended with modern-day England in realistic and well realised settings. I especially enjoyed travelling across Alternative Oxfordshire.”

Maria Wheatley, Author and Master Dowser, UK
“Jacky Gray is a great writer. I have read Archer and could not put it down – as the adventure unfolds it gets more gripping. Hey! If there are any film producers out there  Jacky's book would make a brilliant film!”

JJ, Archer and Historian, UK
“Anyone who promotes Archery in any of its forms is to be congratulated in my book and I think somewhere along the way Jacky must have got caught up in the sport judging by the passion of her writing. I thought the sword and buckler bout between Finn and Archer was incredibly well done, a very engaging piece of writing.”

MariaHedgewitch, Glastonbury, UK
“I thoroughly enjoyed Archer! The detail on jousting was very interesting and the whole story began to captivate me, I couldn't put the book down.”

Avalonia, Firefaery, UK
“I came across Archer in the bookshop opposite Glastonbury Abbey and  I loved the picture on the front – is that Warwick castle? By the time I finished the first chapter, I was glad I’d taken the chance on the second book as well. Archer is a proper hero, a real man’s man, but with a shyness around the girls that is very endearing. At the start, I wasn’t sure if a teenage boy would be as brave as Archer appeared to be, but when I got to know him better, I realised that each ordeal he survived made him stronger. Finn and Fletch are the perfect mates, they don’t allow him to take himself too seriously and are a real comedy double act. The characters are written with a warmth and humour that gets you rooting for them from the first page. Although the setting is sparsely described, it comes alive in a way that makes you think you are spending time in a real world, just like something out of Robin Hood. Amazing twist at the end – definitely didn’t see that one coming.”

Readers and Writers
L.A. Rikand, Author of Girl the Reaper, USA
"Archer is the first of six related books set in an alternate England, which though modern day is distinctly Medieval. Sixteen-year-old Archer is preparing to graduate and must compete against his classmates for the title of May King. He excels at archery but is no slouch at jousting or sword fighting either. He's also modest and popular, and most of the girls--and boys--in his class want a piece of him.
Although targeting a teen boy audience, this story felt just right for me too, and would be right up the alley for many adults who read classics. This is a well-researched slice of Medieval life and even includes a glossary! I encourage anyone with teens who are interested in Medieval times and legends to pass this on to them. It is a very good coming-of-age story which shows young people making decisions that will define them and shape them into persons of character. The detail regarding archery is impressive, so if you have a Hunger Games fan in the house, this book can--using a fun story--enhance their knowledge of the lost art of bowmaking and {gasp!} shooting without using a sight.

Ia Uaro, Author of  Sydney's Song, NSW, Australia
"Archer is an orphan teen with special gifts. He is stronger and faster than other boys his age, and a champ at sword fights and shooting arrows. His personality and abilities win him female interest, but also jealousy from an ardent competitor who, for years, tries his best to give Archer a hard time.
Archer is the first book of the refreshing YA adventure novels Hengist: People of The Horse. Set in a new parallel world which is a mixture of the Middle Ages and modern England, these chronicles follow the lives of Archer and his friends as they compete in jousting and shooting arrows like medieval knights at Beltane, the Festival of the May, in well-executed exhilarating action-packed and fun-packed scenes.
The settings and the characters are well detailed, and you get immersed in the engaging storyline instead of trying to figure out what [the author] is trying to say. There isn't a single confusing moment, even as she teaches us new vocabulary, fascinating historical details, and the intricate arts and fun of jousting and archery that make you see these characters and events. ARCHER is a well-researched book that will entertain its teen target while showing them an example of honorable attitude.

Tanya Dransfield, Amazon reader, Essex, UK
While Archer is not my usual genre of preferred reading I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was all down to the skill of the author who brought a world I had never experienced before, alive in the most magnificent ways.
Jacky Gray paints pictures with words like Picasso painted pictures with his brushstrokes. Her writing style is fluid, strong and leaves the reader with an experience of being there. Great work!

Adina Alexander, Author of A Tale of the South, USA
Jacky Gray is fantastic. She has the ability and talent to depict life of that time so that I felt as if I was actually living in the era! Archer comes across as an ordinary boy with the feelings and reactions of any youngster his age. One does not doubt that he will do the right thing. I'm so looking forward to reading 'Rory' and 'Reagan' and hope others will follow.

Buzz Malone, Author of Silence of Centerville, USA
“Jacky loves to experience the world through the wondrous eyes of a child where anything can happen, where the fantastic mingles with an emerging reality. She cares about the characters in her book and I think she writes her books FOR the children too, like a gift to them. I can hear the music in her writing, the tempo is very fast...almost frantic...but it emits a steady rhythm. The tempo pulls me along as if I am flowing down a river upon a strong current. I couldn't jump out of my canoe in the midst of a chapter even if I wanted to. The flow is brilliant and the story is engaging. I really enjoyed the dialogue between Archer and the girls. I think she does a magnificent job on the dialogue, very well thought out and believable exchanges. Not many people can write believable dialogue really, it's sort of a gift that requires considerable imagination.”

Miss Black, Amazon reader, Los Angeles, USA
“Absolutely wonderful! Jacky Gray's beautiful story telling takes me right to England! I loved it! and I actually learned a few things about jousting and archery. Exciting and wondrous. Can't wait to read the next one!”

Vickie Hollar, Author of Dream Keeper, USA
“Archer is a tale spun in the days of the knights, but takes a different twist than traditional knight’s tales. Ms. Gray brings to the reader a new world filled with authentic traditional language, giving a sense of travelling back in time. This is not a book filled with fluff and half masked characters.”

Rhiannon Nicks, Amazon reader, Ohio, USA
"I've read quite a few fantasy books in my life. I've read quite a few Young Adult books as well. Sometimes, straight fantasy books are too involved and long winded. Archer by Jacky Gray, was not one of those books!!! I must have said, 'one more chapter' about 20 times!! I couldn't put it down. Archer was such a well developed character and Ms. Gray's writing style was nothing short of amazing! I wanted to keep reading. I almost felt depressed when I was finished, but then I looked to see that there was a sequel and that I could keep reading!!

Nataša, Goodreads reader, Slovenia
"A great story about a boy’s coming of age and his adventures. The author has a nice way of putting the reader in the middle of the story with fun descriptions. Archer character is very likeable and smart for his age. It was a pleasure to get to know him. Glossary at the back helps a lot. A great read."

ABNA Expert Reviewer
“This read perfectly, as a action adventure story should. The plot pacing moved quickly, and the excitement of tournament was written so realistically that I could hear the hush and roar of the crowds as if I was there too. I also enjoyed the main character, Archer, he was likable and very much the classic story hero.”

Tim Emery, Author, The Fire Breather's Daughter, UK
“Archer is exciting, interesting and very well written, with realistic natural dialogue. The idea scores highly on originality, it is quite different to all these fantasy world stories and the style is good. I liked and enjoyed the whole medieval feel, the detail on archery etc is good and I particularly liked the merging with the bow – the best part of the story.”

Jamie HoadAuthor, North Carolina, USA
“I read your excerpt - I adored it and got quite irritated when it stopped (always a good sign). First off, Archer is cool. Your fanbase is leaning more towards the Rick Riordian portion on the great bookshelf of life, but, I read him too. And am quite proud of it. A good book is a good book, no matter what the age range. I love jousting (I'm very into anything having to do with horses) so having it in your story immediately gave you high marks in my book. You made it seem so real and I love the way Finn has a mental connection with his horse. I adore the dance lesson, the dialogue had rhythm and flow. Side note - I love how Archer has absolutely no clue that these girls are flirting with him. Love, love, LOOOOOVE how you Glee-up the graduation ceremony! Eek! That's such great fun!!! :) :) Brilliant work Jacky :) Your story and writing is brilliant/amazing/awesome.”

Kyle Kirk, Author, The Last Bard, UK
“I really like this opening of yours, I always have a preference for jumping straight into the meat of the story. I know the exact feeling Archer and Finn feel after the impact, I've done competitive contact martial arts for almost twenty years and I can tell you, I really love the detail you put here. It connected me to the characters in a visceral way. The archery scene in the 3rd chapter cracks me up, because I have a scene similar in my novel where the main character walks through the sequence of how you prepare to draw the bow traditionally. It is great!”

ABNA Expert Reviewer no. 2, USA
“The setting is unique and the joust between friends was very well written and easy to follow along. Even someone without knowledge of the time of knights and jousts would have an easy time following along and picturing the scene in their mind while reading.”

Blackadder 4th, Amazon reader, UK
“Having read this wonderful book, I have to confess that I didn't fully appreciate where Archer was until the end of the book, but I do know that I would rather live in that Utopian parallel than this reality! I also found that I had a huge emotional response to Archer's 'vision' with the stave that became Bow, I wasn't prepared for that and it was a very powerful bit of writing. Having met the author in Glastonbury, I think she was right about Archer's time with Bowman in general being a highlight especially the making of the two bows - Master Head must've really drawn her in! Thank you Jacky for an engaging book and congratulations on the creation of your opus!”

Heyautonomy, Amazon reader, Malta
“Archer is the first book in a series that will surprise you - whilst there are formulas out there for writing stories, these books are not going to be so predictable. I am kind of old for these books, I am 24, I shouldn't really be reading them but I read Archer. Age made me read the book in such a way that I could understand had I been younger what was being said would be very serious. Knowing this made certain aspects of the book an acute portrayal of the concerns of childhood. This book can be read by anyone, but it is really the children's story it professes to be. By this I mean that the book is for a young audience - that is even though I am years out of this age group and I had a good time reading it. Make up your own mind about this :). The connections that the author has made with pagan and natural rituals are obviously well researched and clearly understood. As such, the story is laced with information that can be referred to in confidence. Another book from which to learn about the world, to know things that the parents don't and, most importantly, to be right!”

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