These Dark Wings by John Owen Theobald

Published by  Head of Zeus


After her mother is killed in the Blitz and her father in the North Sea, 12-year-old Anna Cooper is sent to live with an uncle she has never met – the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London.

Amid the Tower’s old secrets and hidden ghosts, the ravens begin to disappear and Anna must brave the war-torn city to find them.

With Nazi forces massing on the other side of the Channel, the fate of Britain might be at stake, for an ancient legend foretells that Britain will fall if the ravens ever leave the Tower.


My thoughts

Set during the London Blitz of World War 2, this story follows Anna cooper, a thirteen year old who has been orphaned and sent to live with her Uncle Henry, who is Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. Anna helps her Uncle look after the legendary Ravens.

It is a beautifully crafted story and Anna is a true to life character, scared of the war, lonely, abandoned, brave, naïve, honest and forthright. She doesn’t want to live at the tower which is cold, and look after the ravens, she wants to be a normal girl and have a normal life.

Her uncle is a more peripheral character, but clearly cares for her and the ravens. All the characters are seen from Anna’s point of view and her perception of each person changes as she changes and ages.

Theobald brilliantly describes the uncertainty and fear of 13 year old Anna as she deals with air raids, incendiaries, boys, school and the ravens.

A beautiful book that I really recommend to anyone that likes historical fiction and is interested to know how it felt to be a child in the blitz, and it is wonderful to have this from a girl’s point of view.

I gave this 4 out of 5*

Please check back on Friday for my review of Book 2 in The Ravenmaster Trilogy.

About Andrea Pryke

I have been collecting Marilyn Monroe items since 1990 and the collection includes around 400 books, as well as films, documentaries, dolls, records and all sorts of other items
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