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The Secret Horses of Briar Hill

Cover: 'The Secret Horses of Briar Hill '

Staff Review: "The Secret Horses of Briar Hill " by Megan Shepherd


Emmaline May lives at Briar Hill, a makeshift hospital in a home that a princess used to live in. She was sent there instead of to a family living in the country during the war because she has the “stillwaters” (tuberculosis). She has a secret that she keeps from almost everyone; only she can see winged horses living in the hospital's mirrors. Entering the forbidden abandoned gardens, she discovers a horse, named Foxfire, who has a broken wing and cannot fly. He’s being hunted by Dark Horse and needs her help finding enough colors to hide him until he heals enough to fly back home, into the mirrors again. But in the dark, gray world Emmaline inhabits, how can she possibly discover enough colors to save this beautiful wild creature before her illness gets worse? Full of heart, Emmaline’s realistic magical world is believably portrayed in her voice, with beautiful spare prose. This heart-wrenching story, written for tweens, stayed with me long after I finished the final chapter. I highly recommend it.

Audience: children, tweens | Genre: fiction

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