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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?

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."


"In clear, gripping, flawless prose . . . this exquisite, beautifully illustrated middle-grade novel explodes with raw anguish, magic and hope, and readers will clutch it to their chests and not want to let go."
—Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW


"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


“A story that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.”
—Mary Brown, Book, Bytes & Beyond, NJ
“A classic magical feel with a heart-pounding story.”
—Rae Ann Parker, Parnassus Books, TN
“The seven-to-ten-year-old version of myself would have been in love with this book, reading and rereading until it fell apart as badly as my well-worn copy of The Secret Garden.”
—Kari Meutsch, Phoenix Books, VT


“The Secret Horses of Briar Hill has all the elements of a lasting classic.”
—Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, MA


“A masterful novel.”
—Cindy Norris, Malaprop's Bookstore and Cafe, NC


“A moving and magical story not to be missed.”
—Leslie Hawkins, Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, NC

News & Honors

  • ​An Autumn 2016 Kids' Indie Next List selection

  • Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

  • Starred review, Booklist

  • Starred review, Shelf Awareness

  • A Kirkus Best Book of 2016

  • A YALSA 2017 Amazing Audio Book for Young Adults

  • Covered in TIME magazine

  • Covered in Wall Street Journal

  • A SIBA Southern Indie Bestseller

  • Optioned for film

  • Foreign Rights: Germany, Spain, UK, Japan

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