The Barrow Ship


Speculative Fiction – elements of Sci-Fi and Fantasy as well as Folklore

Set in North Devon and Exmoor

129mm x 198mm x 18mm

400 pp

ISBN: 978-1-83778-013-6

In stock (can be backordered)


From the back of the book. This is an edited review written by Allan Frewin-Jones, who is himself a highly successful bestselling author with a huge back catalogue of young adult and children’s books.

“Four young friends stumble upon fragments of an ancient artefact buried on the Devon moors. Unaware of the fateful consequences of their actions, they blithely reassemble the pieces to try and discover its purpose – but its arcane power enters them and changes them as it changes forever the world in which they have lived. And while the natural world cracks open like knapped flint, the serene forces of good struggle eternally with the implacable powers of evil, and all magic, all science, all nature, all humanity, and all of creation’s intersecting realities teeter in the balance.
The Barrow Ship is a mythical-realist fable with its feet planted firmly in the primeval Devonshire soil and its head among the bright and turbulent stars of an uncanny and unknowable heaven.
The story – told in two time-frames – has the rhythm of the seasons at its heart, the ebb and flow of the tides, the magical waxing and waning of the moon, the slow churn of time, the poetic interlacing of the mundane and the supernatural, while it navigates the mysterious profundities of love and loss and unfathomable metamorphoses.”

Alan Frewin-Jones

2 reviews for The Barrow Ship

  1. Gwen R

    ‘The Barrow Ship by John Wilkinson is a delightful read. The suspense created in a dramatic, opening- chapter, is maintained throughout the book by the juxtaposition of different time-frames whilst its easy narrative flows from start to finish.
    The story has a good balance between darkness and light, myth and reality with a blend of beautifully-evocative and wonderfully-humorous descriptions. (Terry Pratchett springs to mind.) The characters really come to life. I particularly like Mrs Slee, with her plastic raincoat and her astute observations on life and the human condition. There is a gentle, humour in the conversations with her friend, Lilian, too; Lilian being the perfect foil to Mrs Slee.
    The relationship between the four, young friends works well with their fun and natural banter and it is heart-warming to observe the love develop between the couples. Nicholas Temple is the perfect, menacing villain too!
    Love and loss, in its many forms, is a strong theme throughout the novel alongside the battle between good and evil.
    With the attention to the details of everyday life and observations of nature, it is a well-crafted story and a thoroughly- enjoyable read.’

  2. Oliver Tooley

    The Barrow Ship is enchanting, beautifully crafted and a joy to read.

    Anne Bainbridge, author of Weathering the Storm, Blue Poppy Publishing 2019 ISBN: 978-1-911438-61-8

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