My Books

An exciting mystery/adventure story
for ages 10 and over

Set in the Isles of Scilly

When Gray retrieves an engraved narwhal’s tusk from the sea, disturbing changes begin to happen to both marine and bird life.  The islanders suspect Gray’s unusual powers of being able to communicate with seals and other creatures as the cause of unrest.  They find the tusk he has hidden away and fear that an ancient prophecy threatening the island will come to pass since they have always considered the narwhal as an omen of disaster.  Gray finds himself a victim of a confused and complex web of superstition as the islanders decide a ritual sacrifice must be made.  Can he prove his innocence and escape their final condemnation of him?

Narwhal was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Press Awards

Winner of the Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing

Wonderful writing – we love it: fresh, vivid, textured, briliantly atmospheric. UKA Press

A sequel to Narwhal 

Set in Costa Rica

“The skull had grown to an enormous size and was advancing towards me.”

Life on a remote island off the south west coast of Cornwall has not prepared Gray for the shocks that await him.  He has never questioned his own heightened abilities.  Then he meets Juan Perez who recognises the boy’s latent power and that his destiny is linked with a sacred skull.  At first Gray mistrusts Juan.  Is he telling him the truth?  When everything changes Gray is left with no choice but to undertake a dangerous mission involving the magic skull.

Narwhal was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Press Awards Winner of the Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing

This is a gripping story, powerfully written, that held me from start to finish. You are an inspiration. Pearl Luke

An ideal novel for all teenagers

A wonderfully dramatic story set in the small Central American country of Costa Rica. A rich blend of cultures from the indigenous Indians, the colonising Spanish and today’s ubiquitous Transatlantics combine with faiths both ancient and modern to draw teenage heroine, Meg, into a real web of intrigue. Sometimes accompanied by friends, often by enemies and invariably by her own thoughts, she sets out to find her kidnapped brother, Rick. At the same time, new life is being breathed into Quetzalcoatl, the god of the Aztecs, by the mysterious RE teacher at the school where Meg and her friends are studying; bringing a terrifyingly new dimension to the search for Rick.

The linking of the heroine’s exploration of Mayan culture with the contemporary problems of the Indians gives this book an edgy, topical slant. Titles for teenage girls tend to be of the “Bridget Jones Junior” ilk; so it is nice to have a strong girl as a serious protagonist in this type of adventure story so often peopled by male characters. Literary Consultancy

Having edited and published well over a hundred novels and other books over the last six or seven years, I still regard “The Return of the Quetzal” one of the best I have had come my way.  It would make an excellent reader for teenagers learning English. C. Muller. (Professor of English Literature and Editor of Diadem Books)

Return of the Quetzal is a ripping yarn, a wonderfully dramatic story based on the theme of faiths – religious faith, false faith, faith in one’s self, in other people, and in one’s roots. The teenage heroine, Meg, uprooted from her smug little middle class life in England, struggles to find her place in the multi-cultural broil of a small Central American country. She stands alone in both her doubts about the strangely compelling and mysterious new teacher and in her search for her missing brother until she meets Tony, her first friend in a strange country, and her first love. The quest for her brother in the heart of the Costa Rican Rain Forest is beautifully evoked, as is the terrific final climax to the book. Bette Paul (Children’s Author and Winner of the Carnegie Medal)

This story gripped my attention from the outset. It made for a compelling read. Most successful novels make the reader want to know what happens next and engage with the main character. “Quetzal” does this. An excellent opening, a lively narrative style, and a very good characterisation. Another strength is the rich vein of cross cultural background. Jeremy Davies, playwright and author 

A novel for 9 to 13 year olds

“Something is happening to me that I don’t understand. I didn’t choose to follow this decree. It chose me a long time ago.”
Davey, a teenage boy, inherits an amulet which binds him to fulfil an ancient decree. When he falls into the hands of his wicked uncle who is in league with an unscrupulous team of scientists, Davey begins to understand the purpose of the decree. He is faced with a terrible dilemma knowing his decision to honour the decree could lead him into dangerous waters. Does he have the strength to fulfil his mission?

The title of Margaret Gill’s short novel, Decree of the Amulet, tends to emphasize the magic content but the plot has all the drive and acceleration of a thriller (with its explosive ending) and contains many of the key devices of short story writing for children: a young reluctant hero, a series of mysteries, a challenge – everything from the suspense, the quest and the test! In many ways it is akin to fairy tale and folkloric tales with its magic and the supernatural linked to the worldly. There are the lost parents and the good (earth) mother; there’s the encounter with the surrogate father, the remoteness of the locations, the guardian angels, the helpers, the journeys, the adventure, the traps, the escape, the dark, evil powers which threaten the natural order of things – facets which help to create a rich narrative texture in a very concise work. The novel can be called ‘contemporary’ with its reflection and critique of environmental devastation, but without demonising technology or science, which are represented as forces that can be used for good or bad. In this way the book touches on important issues but without becoming moralistic. There are lots of details to be savoured on the way to the dénouement: the suggestive names; explicit and implicit references to Macbeth; the use of arcane words (which help to create a sense of otherness and mystery). Then there’s chapter nine with its shift of focus from the human to the divine and the ironic twist in the last chapter where… Well, I’ll leave that for readers to discover for themselves. It’s well worth the effort. (David Walton, University of Murcia)

A novel for teenagers

A thrilling adventure story …. Mel always knew she was different.  There were the visions …. Then the boy from the past.  When the authorities of a tyrannical state learn about a young girl’s uncanny ability to translate an ancient and possibly illegal text, they decide to keep her under surveillance. But they have no idea what extraordinary powers the text is about to unleash nor what strange coincidences will lead her not only to resolving a terrible crime in the past, but also to discover a devastating secret.

I have now read a few things from Margaret Gill and I must admit that I love her easy flowing writing style. This current tale, the third in the trilogy, moves along nicely and, at times, the world that Gill creates is almost ‘Pullmanesque’ in feel. I also enjoyed the fact that this was not the usual run of the mill fantasy genre story and brought together elements of fantasy, science fiction and the supernatural and blended them in a futuristic adventure drawing on Asian culture and mythology for its core story. An excellent novel and I look forward to reading future work from the author. Taff Lovesey (author of The Portal Chronicles)

Another cracker from Gill. This is an action-packed, thrilling adventure tale which carries the reader along through the ups and downs of the story, as seen through the eyes of our young heroine, Mel. The book has just the right amount of plot and description, with a wonderful soupcon of the supernatural to keep any young teenager – and older reader! – happy until the end. Anne Brooke (author of A Dangerous Man)

A roller-coaster of an adventure novel for all ages, young readers will love the fast pace and scary moments but older readers will also be intrigued by the mystery of the other- worldly quest. I couldn’t put it down. Mark Smalley

This is the final part of the trilogy that began with The Brain Changers. Set in Britain twenty years hence, the trilogy invokes a totalitarian world where citizens are constantly under surveillance and rigidly controlled. Religion, magic, and even music and literature are banned. The story in The Eye of the Mandala takes place in London in a bitter winter and the all-enveloping, deadening cold is an evocative metaphor for the city’s repressed and resigned population. Mel, the young Indian girl now adopted by a British family, provides a vivid splash of colour and warmth in this arid world. But she is small and vulnerable and the reader is kept on tenterhooks wondering whether she can survive the all-powerful evil of the state and the individual threat of the Jackal – a threat that almost destroyed her in a previous life.

A fascinating read for young adult readers, this mix of suspense and fantasy deals with the archetypal struggle between good and evil and while doing so raises thought-provoking questions about individual freedom, religion and responsibility. Joan Holah (University Librarian)

This is writing of a high standard inspired by a sense of energy. The writer’s enthusiasm transmits to readers and keeps them turning the pages. (Cornerstones)

This book is a great roller-coaster of a plot with realistic and intriguing characters. Some truly lovely writing. (New York Children’s Literary Agency)

A novel for teenagers

Rowena’s determination to foil a power that has destroyed her family results in her journeying alone in alien territory.  There are many mysteries to be solved and dangers to be overcome but in the end she has to trust her own strength and inner guidance.  Can she find the answer to her mother’s mysterious disappearance?
Secret of the Scroll was the first prize winner in the teenage section of the 25th Winchester Writers’ Conference and won first prize at the Swanwick Annual Writers’ Conference and the Writers’ News Trophy in 2005.

Secret of the Scroll is an adventure story that combines historical, political and supernatural elements. It is an exciting and absorbing read with a rich and interesting cast of characters. It stands out as a thrilling story which would be greatly enjoyed by older children. Jude Evans (Little Tiger Press)

There is always a market for adventure stories and I really like the way this story combines a plot set in the future with archaeology. Cornerstones

This is a gripping novel, full of twists and turns. It has a great sense of place and good knowledge of other cultures. Sally Spedding (novelist)

A powerful read. I really cared about Rowena, Mel and their mates and wanted to keep on reading. Sally Spedding (author and lecturer in creative writing, Leicester University)

A novel for children of 12 years plus

Dark, uncanny forces begin to take over the land. Rowena and her friends see their freedoms being eroded as their society succumbs to a new breed of dominators, the Brain Changers. Can the small student group stand alone in their protests in a world rapidly becoming riddled with fear and suspicion? Dare they attempt to discredit a tyrannical and all-powerful government? The protest that begins so boldly brings death and destruction in its wake, but it is the selfless and courageous act of the young heroine who risks her life to foil a powerful and dastardly enemy that is its justification

A powerful read. I really cared about Rowena, Mel and their mates and wanted to keep on reading. Sally Spedding (author and lecturer in creative writing, Leicester University)

The Brain Changers is set in the technologically near future and the basic mood and thrust of the story is fantasy involving higher beings, magical interventions, and mystical philosophy. A good Young Adult story with well drawn characters. Ian Watson (science fiction author and screenwriter for Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence)

Your creative exploration into religion, magic and myth work well for teenagers, especially as these are complimented with overtones of teenage love.. I found the book reflects the language, conflicts and concerns of teenage life very well. I like your playful use of names like Morgana and Malthus. You create suspense and anticipation, a strong sense of adventure and escape from the evil powers that threaten the order of things. There is a wonderful sense of place and drama. I see a very effective film adaptation possible here. David Walton (lecturer, University of Murcia, Spain)

2 responses to “My Books

  1. Hello Margaret!
    A few quick questions for you…
    1. Whereabouts online (or elsewhere) would your books be available for purchase?
    2. Your “Quetzal Skull” – given that it is a sequel to Narwhal, it is necessary to read the books in sequence? Or would young adults be able to read the “Quetzal Skull” without having read Narwhal previously (we are specifically interested in the novels set in Costa Rica).
    3. Is “The Return of the Quetzal” a stand alone novel? Or is it one in a series (to be read before or after “Quetzal Skull” or a different book)?
    Pura vida from

  2. Thank you. In answer to your questions both books can be read as stand alone books. Return of the Quetzal is a completely different book from The Quetzal Skull which can be read without having read Narwhal first. Both books are set in Costa Rica. Both can be obtained from

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