The Shadow of the Norman Arrow

Book number 7 in the series visits a landmark event in English history. Battles, outlaws, dragons and phantom hounds make this an action-packed adventure.


"The Northmen sail across the sea ..."


The Battle of Hastings will soon be fought on English soil. King Harold knows the Normans are coming, but first he must head up north to fight the Vikings. Who will come to his aid?

Taking another trip back in time as they continue the search for their missing parents, twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot find themselves in the year 1066, together with best friend Charlie, and Max their Tonkinese cat.

Many dangerous adventures await them during a hazardous journey across the country to help the king repel the invaders. Will they be able to turn the tide of history or will Harold fail to heed their advice?



Duke William glared at the trembling young man who’d just brought him the message. The Norman duke’s face turned purple, rapidly becoming the colour of an aubergine, and he banged his fist on the table, making all the pewter plates jump into the air with a clatter. They crashed noisily back down and some of them rolled on to the floor, scattering in all directions across the stone paving.

   ‘Over my dead body,’ he roared, leaping to his feet in fury. ‘You can go straight back and tell him it’s mine, not his. That throne was promised to me and I intend to have it. Got that?’

The frightened messenger nodded frantically, his face as white as a sheet and his eyes bulging with fear. He’d heard all sorts of tales about this terrifying man, but William was a million times scarier in the flesh than anything he could have ever imagined. He couldn’t wait to get out of there and began backing away from the ranting duke, his head bowed, not daring to look up.

‘And tell him I’ll come and take what’s rightfully mine by force, if necessary. If it’s war he’s after, then he shall have it.’ The fuming Norman advanced on the quivering herald, jabbing a forefinger in the poor man’s face with each thunderous bellow. ‘Harold Godwinson will rue the day he chose to cross swords with William of Normandy, by God! If he dares to steal something from me, then I’ll just come and grab it right back from him. An eye for an eye. That’s what they say, isn’t it? Now get out of my sight.’

The relieved Englishman needed no second bidding. Swiftly turning on his heel, he scuttled from the chamber, desperate to escape the explosive rage of the Norman duke. Thank Heavens that ordeal was over and he was still alive to tell the tale. Now all he had to do was make his way back to England and relay William’s message to the king. He wasn’t looking forward to that encounter much either – perhaps now might be a good time to start thinking about a change of career!






Chapter 1


Uncle Richard gave an embarrassed cough, clearing his throat. ‘Um … Ellen and I have had an idea,’ he began quietly. ‘And we’d like to know what you all think.’ He stared steadfastly at the table top as if it was the most fascinating object he’d ever laid eyes on, while his fingers played nervously with his dessert spoon, making it rattle loudly against the wood. Not daring to raise his head, Richard failed to notice the look of confusion on the children’s faces.

Joe and Jemima glanced across the table at Charlie to see if he knew what this was all about, but he shrugged his shoulders, evidently as puzzled as they were. Ellen was Charlie’s mum and this summer she’d started dating the twins’ uncle. This seemed a bit weird to the two boys, but Jemima was pleased that Uncle Richard had a girlfriend. She’d always thought he spent too much time on his own and, besides, Charlie’s mum was really nice.

Ellen cleared away the lasagne dish and went to fetch the dessert, while Charlie and Jemima gathered up the plates. As his sister walked by, Joe took the opportunity to swipe the last remaining piece of garlic bread, licking the dribbly garlic butter off his fingers with a dreamy expression on his face.

           ‘This sounds a bit mysterious, Mum,’ said Charlie, his eyebrows raised. ‘What’s going on?’



                                              To be continued ...

Review for The Shadow of the Norman Arrow

Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for READERS' FAVORITE BOOK REVIEWS

"Get ready for another extraordinary time-traveling journey in Shadow of The Norman Arrow by Wendy Leighton-Porter. Eleven-year-old twins, Joe and Jemima Lancelot, are still searching through the past for their missing parents. Accompanied by their best friend, Charlie, and Jemima's huge talking Tonkinese cat Max, the children are ready to set off on another thrilling adventure in the seventh book of The Shadows From The Past series.
Opening the thick Shadows From The Past book that swallowed the twins' parents a few months before, the children soon discover that they will be traveling back to 1066 England. They hope to at least find a clue leading to the Lancelots' whereabouts while helping King Harold defeat William The Conqueror. Feeling confident that they know the story of the Norman Conquest, the children and Max step through the mists of time. Only they soon discover that there are some things their history lessons have left out concerning the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings. Or, at least, the children had assumed that the stories were just myths and legends. Until they meet them face-on! Will the children finally find their parents? Will they be able to help King Harold and prevent his death? Or are they fighting against destiny?
Action packed with battles, legends, and myths, this book is another spectacular story by Wendy Leighton-Porter. The reader won't be able to put this book down from page one. Digging deep into English history, myths, and legends, The Shadows From The Past Series is more than just a great succession of exciting stories; they are super educational! I love that the author challenges young readers to think beyond what they see, what they are told, encouraging them to research history, myths, and legends. For myself, it is refreshing to read history that hasn't been barely scratched over or watered down. I would recommend this book - along with all the Shadows From The Past books - for children ages 7-10, though the author's unique and descriptive writing style entertains adults as well as children.

October 2016