Review: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

25488299The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Magical Realism, Animals, Friendship, Historical Fiction

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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?


There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital…

The Chronicles of Narnia meets The Secret Garden in this enchanting and deeply felt story of friendship, hope and courage.

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is everything a middle grade novel should be.

Majestic, magical horses dwell in the Briar Hill hospital. To its patients, they are invisible, but Emmaline sees them in the mirrors everywhere she goes… and now one has found her way in the sundial garden.

But she needs help, for she is chased by a dark horse. Emmaline will do anything to help her new friend.

With beautiful writing, Megan Shepherd creates a world where darkness can be defeated if one is brave enough to dare fight against it and have hope light will seep through.

No one knows if the horses are truly there or if they’re purely fabricated by Emmaline’s imaginative mind – and that is where the magical realism comes in.

It’s a splendid tale set during World War II with a charming set of characters who learn from each other, from their experiences and even teach us a thing or two about living and believing.

Megan Shepherd has a real talent for writing middle grade books. I hope this will not be her last.


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8 thoughts on “Review: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

  1. I read The Madman’s Daughter by her last year I believe and I didn’t like it so I didn’t continue with the rest of the trilogy. This book however intrigues me and since it is middle grade – and I tend to enjoy those – I might look into it. Thanks for the rec on Goodreads 🙂


  2. Pingback: On the Horizon – the secret horses of briar hill (Megan Shepherd) | Captain's Quarters

  3. Pingback: 7 Books to Read during the Holidays | Hit or Miss Books

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