Review for The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd – OUT TODAY!!!

 There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital. In the mirrors that line its grand hallways, which once belonged to a princess. In those that reflect the elegant rooms, now filled with sick children. It is her secret.

One morning, when Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens, she discovers something incredible: a white horse with broken wings has left the mirror-world and entered her own.

Tucked into the garden’s once-gleaming sundial, Emmaline finds a letter from the Horse Lord. He is hiding the wounded white horse, named Foxfire, from a dark and sinister force—a Black Horse who hunts by colorless moonlight. If Emmaline is to keep the Black Horse from finding her new friend, she must collect colorful objects with which to blind him. But where can Emmaline find color when her world is filled with gray?

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What People Are Saying

“Emmaline’s narration is unreliable, flawlessly childlike, and deeply honest; her faith in magic brings her solace and, possibly, healing. The magical realism is reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia, Elizabeth Goudge, or a child’s version of Life of Pi…Readers will love this to pieces.”
—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Endearing characters, metaphors for life and death, and a slow revelation of the horrors of war give this slim novel a surprising amount of heft.”

“A remarkable book. Astonishing!” –Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse

“Magical, terrifying, and full of heart. Open these pages, and ride true.” –Newbery Honor-winning author Kathi Appelt of The Underneath

News & Honors

  • An Autumn 2016 Kids’ Indie Next List selection
  • Starred review, Kirkus Reviews
  • Starred review, Booklist

my review

 The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book…this book! It does something to you. All the emotions, from joy and true happiness to almost unbearable pain, all of it is so worth it! At war times, sometimes your own fantasy and magical world can be your saviour. And that’s exactly what this book is all about. It’s a mix of true facts and wonderful fantasy, created by Emmaline, one of the sick children at Briar Hill hospital. Since the war is upon them and dark days lay ahead, they try to find laughter and joy wherever they can. Be it among them, mysterious groundskeeper Thomas or in the winged horses that live in the mirrors and that only a few chosen can see. Aside from being a wonderful story that will make you smile, it’s also a story that will make you sad and think about things that truly count in this would. Life’s too short and therefore you have to appreciate every second of it.
Read this book, because it will truly touch you!

about the author

New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of the young adult series THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER and THE CAGE, as well as the middle grade novel THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and an especially scruffy dog.

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