Mundie Moms

Friday, October 14, 2016

THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL by Megan Shepherd / Blog Tour: Book Review

Hello and welcome to the last stop for THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL, blog tour. I am so thrilled to be apart of this tour and share my review for Megan Shepherd's middle grade debut. 


By: Megan Shepherd
Published by: Delacorte Press
Released on: October 11th, 2016
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 stars - I LOVED It
*I received an arc from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

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?

A beautiful, haunting story that stays with you long after you read it. The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is a magical, heartfelt story that effortlessly pulls readers in, and makes you wish you could stay longer when the story is over. I loved this book! I devoured it in one sitting.

Megan Shepherd's middle grade debut is mesmerizing! I loved the way she wove WWII history, and fantasy together, to create a story that will mean something different to each reader. There's so much wrapped into each of the characters in this story, along with the historical references of what has brought them together. This is book about believing in the impossible, friendship, hope, surviving and so much more. It was all the book feelings I look for in a well written MG book. I LOVED it!

Normally I'm not one to compare books, but I couldn't help but be reminded of two childhood favorites with a similar feel to them, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Secret Garden. There's something magical about the way each of these stories are told. No matter the reader's age, they connect us to the story in some way. They make us feel. They make us believe in the impossible, and take us on a journey. They allow us to reminiscence, and remind of us of what first made us start reading. 

Another thing I enjoyed about this book is that it's one readers of a variety of different ages will enjoy for different reasons. It's written that way for a reason. There's an open endedness with the story that allows each reader to interpret it their own unique way. I love the way Shepherd explains why she wrote it like that at the end of her book. It's brilliant! 

With it's mix of history, and fantasy, this is a book I couldn't help falling in love with. Shepherd's vivid imagery, beautiful storytelling, detailed setting and lively characters create something truly unique in a MG book. Megan Shepherd has definitely found her niche with middle grade. I think this book is one both her YA audience, and her MG readers will enjoy. I would definitely recommend picking this book up! Plus, look at that stunning cover! It just beckons you to pick it up and read it. 

About The Author

MEGAN SHEPHERD grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of several acclaimed young adult books. Shepherd lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband. You can visit her at and follow her on Twitter at @megan_shepherd.

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, October 3rd: Twinning for Books, Review
Tuesday, October 4th: The Mod Podge Bookshelf, Interview
Wednesday, October 5th: Jenuine Cupcakes, Review (and cupcakes!)
Thursday, October 6th: Pandora’s Books, Movie Cast Post
Friday, October 7th: Owl Always Be Reading

Monday, October 10th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Review
Tuesday, October 11th: Such a Novel Idea, Playlist Post
Wednesday, October 12th: The Reading Nook Reviews, Review
Thursday, October 13th: Seeing Double In Neverland, Author Guest Post
Friday, October 14th: Mundie Moms, Review