The Boy, the Witch and the Queen of Scots

Based on real events in the years 1561-62, this historical novel for young people (ages 8-12 is ideal) shines a light on the lesser known aspect of Mary Queen of Scots as a teenager. She arrived in Scotland in her late teens, having spent most of her childhood on the continent. That also applies to me. In addition, Mary and I share a birthday.

Not the Palace.
Anywhere but the Palace.

12-year-old Alexander Buchan was once content, training as a falconer at Strathbogie Castle in Huntly. But when his Earl sends him to Edinburgh to the court of the newly arrived Mary, Queen of Scots, the boy finds himself lured into a world of intrigue, terror and treachery. Alexander knows right from wrong, but how can he hope to outwit his master’s murderous messenger? Surely no one can defy an Earl – especially one whose wife is rumoured to be a witch!

Soon, more than the boy’s own life is at stake: his friend Lizzie is arrested and the angry clouds of Reformation Scotland gather around the young Queen.

It seems that Alexander must spy – or die.

You can find teaching resources for the book in the resources section of this website!

Here I am, launching the book at Huntly Castle, one of its key settings! They even organised a falconry display!
A Time Tunnellers video for schools about Mary and the book
A festive angle on Mary, Queen of Scots

Children's Fiction. Drama. Short Stories.