Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Good Hawk (Shadow Skye #1)” as Want to Read:
The Good Hawk (Shadow Skye #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Good Hawk

(Shadow Skye #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  49 reviews

If everything was taken from you, what would you do to get it back?

Agatha patrols the sea wall with pride, despite those in her clan who question her right to be there, because of the condition she was born with.

Jaime is a reluctant Angler, full of self-doubt and afraid of the sea.

When disaster strikes, the pair must embark on a terrifying journey to a land where

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published February 6th 2020 by Walker Books (first published January 21st 2020)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Good Hawk, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Good Hawk

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  107 ratings  ·  49 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Good Hawk (Shadow Skye #1)
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed on

The Good Hawk is a YA historical book set in the days when Clans ruled parts of the world. The book opens with fifteen-year-old Agatha who has Down Syndrome. She lives at the north of the Isle of Skye with her clan, ‘Clann-a-Tuath’ and her role in the clan is that she is a Hawk, they guard the wall to the enclave and watch for anyone coming to attack them.

We then meet fifteen-year-old Jaime who is an Angler, although not a very capable one as he doesn’t
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good Hawk is set in the Isle of Skye. Agatha is a hawk once made a plan and climb up the wall . The waves went on Agatha's legs and her face , then the waves got bigger and she couldn't hold on anymore and fell. You stupid girl. Lucky one of the Hawks see her and saved her.

Jamie is a reluctant Angler and is afraid of the sea, with all that deep dark water, his mind rattles of all the possibilities that could be lurking beneath the surface like a giant squid, killer rays .

I always love to
Holly Jackson
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Good Hawk is an incredibly special and important book and I was so genuinely excited to keep diving back into this fantastical world. Elliott is a master in characterisation and voice; I fell in love with Agatha after just two sentences in her head and then I struggled to put the book down because I just HAD to know what would happen to her and Jaime. Not only is this a heart-warming story about friendship and courage and what it means to truly be a hero, the plot is so gripping and ...more
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a genuinely exciting book! I have about twenty pages left to read and I'm trying my best to slow myself down, because it's so good and I don't want it to end! The author described it as "Game of Thrones for kids" at a recent event. I'm one of the few people on the planet who hasn't seen or read Games of Thrones (I know!) so I can't comment on that, but what I do know is that it's filled with a cast of weird and wonderful characters who have the most incredible adventures and that I can't ...more
Ben Oliver
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a unique and brilliant book this is! Each character's voice was so beautifully written, none more so than Agatha (a soon to be iconic character in my opinion).

The story is set on the isle of Skye in a mythic era where clans live and battle, we follow Agatha a "Hawk" whose job it is to walk the walls that surround the home of her clan. We also follow Jaime a reluctant Angler and even more reluctant groom! Jaime and Agatha are thrust into action as their clan are brutally attacked.

This book
Em Jay
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
So, to put it in simple terms, THE GOOD HAWK is a book that will make you feel things.

(Thank you, you say. That is not helpful.)

It follows the story of Jaime, an anxious boy with a heavy role to play in his clan, and Agatha, a girl with Down Syndrome and an extraordinary gift that enables her to communicate with animals. When their clan is betrayed and captured by enemy forces, they set out together on a rescue mission. But this mission takes them to mainland Scotia, where the people have been
Agatha is a good hawk! In mythical Scotland, a hawk is like a sentinel. They watch for intruders. Agatha is 15 years old with Downs Syndrome and has a special talent. She can communicate with animals, and they with her. When the Norsemen invade her village and take her clan as slaves, Agatha and Jayme (an angler forced to marry outside of his clan) are the only two to escape death or abduction. They set across the mainland to Norway in an attempt to rescue them. Along the way, their friendship ...more
GabrielP (Deleboy)
ARC provided by Candlewick Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Good Hawk by Joseph Elliot is the compelling start to a trilogy set in a mythic Scotland.

It revolves around two members of the Clann a Tuath, set on the island of Skye. Agatha is a Hawk, a sentinel, considered incapable because of her birth condition, and Jaime is an Angler, an anxious teen who isn’t fond of the sea, chosen by the clan’s elders for a long-unneeded ritual. Unexpectedly, the clan is kidnapped by
Amie's Book Reviews
What a rare gem is THE GOOD HAWK. The two protagonists are unlikely heroes. They know they have face their fears and use any and all gifts they may have to survive in this unique work of Dystopian Fiction.

Agatha has Down Syndrome (in the book there is no official diagnosis, but it is obvious to informed readers.) When was the last time you read a book, or even a short story, where the protagonist is a person with a "DisABILITY?"

Kudos to Author Joseph Elliott for
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a solid debut and mostly enjoyable read. I definitely liked the setting and the u Kaye story. While I love that one of the POV being told is from a person who is disabled it’s just so hard to tell if it’s done well. Meaning I can’t nor do I want to say it is or isn’t bc I’m not in that persons shoes nor is the author so who really knows. I do feel that some of the vocabulary was an odd choice at times, especially when he choose to use contemporary language when other times he used old ...more
Shannon McLean
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved how different this book felt than a lot of other YA fantasy novels. Having one of the heroes have Down Syndrome, and getting to see the world through her POV and voice, was eye-opening. I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed, but otherwise this was a great book with two unique points of view. I look forward to the next one!
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, rc20
really good. A bit slow at the start, perhaps, but the middle hundred pages, especially, just whizzed by.
Elliott’s debut novel for children stars a protagonist with a condition that goes unnamed in her world, but which is pretty clearly Down’s syndrome. In an alt-Scotland, Agatha is a Hawk: her job is to guard the sea wall that keeps her clan isolated and safe on the Isle of Skye. When she makes an honest, but dreadful, mistake, it’s held up as proof of her unfitness for work, and she’s stripped of her duties. Meanwhile, Jaime has a different problem: he’s been assigned a job as an Angler, a ...more
The Good Hawk is a historical fantasy set in mythic Scotland. Agatha and Jaime are members of the Clann a Tuath from Skye island. Agatha is a Hawk and spends her days on the wall as a lookout for any possible invaders. Jamie is an Angler who hates the sea. He'd always wanted to be a Wasp and make boats, but the enclave doesn't get to choose their profession. Instead, it's unlawful to do anything else then what they've been assigned. For generations, marrying was also outlawed, but Jamie is due ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good Hawk is the first book I’ve ever read that features a main character with Down syndrome, Agatha. This brings a whole new dimension to the story, even if the first chapter was a bit confusing to read at first. You do get used to this particular writing style though as it continues on throughout and marks Agahtas PoV, as opposed to Jaimes. This proves that the author knows what he is writing about, at least in my opinion. Another important topic that is touched on is sexuality and how it’ ...more
Julie (Bookish.Intoxication)
Already I am enjoying the simplicity of the language, it fits the feel of the book so well. Agatha speaks as an 15 year old girl fast and full of tangents and short sentences. It feels authentic, not like an adult trying to write as a child would speak.

I'm excited to learn more about how the Island of Skye works, how the children are sorted into their work details, how the clans work. But most of all, I want to know more about Agatha, about the way she was born, about her amazing affinity with
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2020
‘The fires burned for many months, filling the sky with thick red smoke. They stayed north for over a year, until the sky returned to normal. When they came back down, everyone was dead.’

Agatha and Jaime are part of Clan-a-Tuath on the Isle of Skye. Agatha is a Hawk, someone who patrols the sea wall, a job she takes a lot of pride in despite the people who question her being there because of the condition she was born with. Jaime in an Angler, essentially someone who goes out fishing, and the
I received an ARC of this book via Librarything's Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.

In short, pretty good read but I don't find myself too interested in reading the sequel (felt it could have ended as a standalone just fine). It does some things that I definitely am giving thumbs up for, but also other things that I just was frustrated with.

I enjoyed the main plot in general, some things I was ''meh'' about (not including what I will write below). It was definitely
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookbox-books
Apart from the fact that thanks to Book Box Club I get books I never would have bought myself (with of course sometimes better and sometimes less exciting results), I also actually read them because of the author chats and the amazing girls in the whatsapp group. I'm not sure if and when I would have picked up this book if I hadn't had those.

And even after reading I'm still not entirely sure what to think of this book. It's a typical "it's not bad, it's just not that outstanding or impressive
Katie Williams
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Good Hawk by Joseph Elliott was one of the books included in Book Box Club's January box. I've nearly caught up and how glad I have because what an excellent story! I seem to be on a streak with my five star reads at the moment! This book has everything I could want; a map in the front, Vikingesque characters, author’s knowledge on SEN, and a great plot!

The story focuses on two main characters, Agatha and Jamie. The clan view Agatha as odd and don’t feel she belongs. Jamie is a worrier and
This is a debut novel, the first of what Joseph Elliott has titled the Shadow Skye Trilogy and it is terrific! The story from mythical Scotland centers on interesting young Agatha, a girl some in her clan term "retarch". It follows her struggles being accepted and her strength of character showing great courage as she follows what she knows is the right thing to do. Her words show this in the ending crisis: "But I have to do it. For Jaime who is my friend and for my clan to be rescued." ...more
Emily Lonsdale
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super big thanks to for giving me the opportunity to read this book!

This is a whimsical adventure told by a new voice in an ancient place. It is wild, dramatic and draped in legend. And I'm not just talking about the book. For the place is eerily beautiful also. The setting, of course, is Scotland. Medieval Scotland, to be exact. And it is a thrilling place to be. You are dropped, in the beginning, into a brand new adventure told by two very different voices that complement each
Cynthia Parkhill
The Good Hawk is a work of historical fantasy for young people (ages 10 to 14), set among the Celts of the Middle Ages during an era of Viking invasions along Scotland.

Agatha and Jaime are members of a clan who live on a remote island off the coast of Scotia; they believe that a plague killed everybody who lived on the mainland. The first-hand narration of this story alternates between Agatha and Jaime; it offers clearly distinguished "voices" for each of its narrators.

Neither Agatha nor Jaime
Lucy George
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just finished this fittingly stormy read by @joseph_elliott3. (Yes, him off of being Cook in Swashbuckle .) I absolutely loved The Good Hawk. It combines the voices of Agatha, a brave girl with a Down syndrome like condition, and Jaime, a gentle boy who is afraid of lots of things, including the sea, who voyage through their worse fears to rescue their clan.

The writing is pacy, clever and rich, takes us on an adventure across alt-Scotland to Northern Europe and explores society in a really
Diane Magras
Naturally, I'd be drawn to a book about mythic Scotland, and this did not disappoint. It's an intense story, best for an upper middle grade audience, with a series of wonderfully memorable scenes that will stay for a long time in my memory. Agatha, of the two viewpoint characters, was born "different" and is told by various characters that her life should have been ended at birth. But she's fiercely loyal to her sense of duty, the "good Hawk" of the title, referring to the role she plays in her ...more
Ellie King
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Good Hawk by Joseph Elliott is a junior fiction novel set in a mythic Scotland and tells a heartwarming story of adventure, courage and friendship. Agatha and Jaime are two members of Clann-a-Tuath. Agatha is a special member of the clan and takes her job as a Hawk very importantly. Hawk’s patrol the sea-wall always on the look-out for danger from the sea and warring clans. Agatha was born with down syndrome and others in the clan don’t trust her to perform her duties. Jaime is an Angler who
WhatBookNext .com
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Welcome to a land of ancient clans once at war, until terrible beasts were unleashed and a plague even more ferocious wiped out enemies like the simple stroke of a brush. Each clan now has its own beliefs, community laws and way of life – mostly keeping separate.

Jaime is training to be an Angler (Fisherman) but has a deep fear of the sea. He is important to his clan however, being chosen for an arranged marriage between two clans.

Agatha is in trouble yet again, and learning to control her angry
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Good Hawk
By Joseph Elliott

An Early Reviewers book - Advance Reading Copy (ARC).
It has been a while since I have read a non-Terry Pratchett fantasy novel, but I am very glad that I decided to read The Good Hawk. This story takes place in a a fictional and fantastical medieval Isle of Skye and Scotland that has been changed by a great plague and two young misfits must learn to be heroes to save their entire people.
The writing and plot are superb and imaginative and the two main characters
Feb 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 I enjoyed reading this book but it wasn't anything amazing or that blew me away. I liked Agatha's voice because it made sense for her voice to be exactly as it was. My struggle was that Jaime's voice was TOO similar to Agatha's and he has no reason to be that similar. At times I couldn't tell it was his chapter because it sounded too close to Agatha. Which meant I basically could've done without Jaime since he felt just there for the use of "not being Agatha" but nothing beyond that. And a ...more
Mahalia Gosla
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK... where do I start? We follow two characters, Agatha and Jamie. Jamie ( the angler) is a groom of an arranged marriage. Agatha is demoted from her watchman post (the Hawk) due to almost killing Jamie’s Bride boat, thinking it was an enemy ship. The sprinkle of uniqueness within this dark and thrilling story is Agatha has Down syndrome. At first, I wasn’t sure how I would feel based on the way she was treated by some of her clansmen. Agatha is not afraid of anything! She becomes a favorite ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Pure Heart
  • Tiger Heart
  • Deeplight
  • Evernight
  • Malamander (Malamander, #1)
  • Nevertell
  • Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance
  • The Land of Roar
  • Foul Is Fair
  • Shadows of Winterspell
  • Heartstream
  • The Way Past Winter
  • The Threads of Magic
  • Are You Watching?
  • And The Stars Were Burning Brightly (And The Stars Were Burning Brightly, #1)
  • Havenfall (Havenfall, #1)
  • Wranglestone (Wranglestone, #1)
  • No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
See similar books…
Joseph Elliott is a writer, teacher, and actor known for his work in children’s television. The Good Hawk is his first book. He lives in London.

Other books in the series

Shadow Skye (3 books)
  • The Broken Raven (Shadow Skye, #2)
  • Untitled (Shadow Skye, #3)
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »