Thursday, April 10, 2014

MIDDLE GRADE BOOK REVIEW: Wonder Light: Unicorns of the Mist by R.R. Russell


Deep in the heart of a mist-shrouded island, an impossible secret is about to be discovered.

Twig is used to feeling unwanted. Sent to live on a pony ranch for "troubled" girls on a misty, haunted island, Twig is about to discover the impossible — someone who needs her.

Jolted awake from a bad dream, Twig follows the desperate whinny of a terrified horse out to the stables. There in the straw is a bleating little scrap of moonbeam. A silver-white filly with cloven hooves and a tiny, spiraling horn.

A baby unicorn.

Now Twig knows what secret is hiding in the island's mist: the last free unicorn herd. And a mysterious boy named Ben who insists that this impossible creature is now Twig's to care for. That she needs Twig's love and protection. Because there's something out there in the deep, dense shadows that's hunting for them..


R.R. Russell lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. She grew up traveling the world as an army brat and now travels the country as a coach with a non-profit judo club. She loves to read and draw, and like Twig, once spent a lot of time sketching unicorns. Visit her at


Unicorns! Sigh. A book with lots of unicorns as well as a protagonist who is struggling to find who she is and where she belongs. Twig ends up on Lonehorn Island as a result of an unfortunate incident with her stepsister that everyone thinks she caused.  But there seems to be more to the island than first appears. Shortly after arriving, she sees what appears to be a ghost.  Can Twig find a home here with so many mysteries as she struggles to deal with her own sense of inadequacy?  

Being a fan of unicorns I quite enjoyed this well-written story. I appreciated the fact that the story takes place over a whole year as Twig grows and develops along with the baby unicorn.  It was also very refreshing to read about a home for troubled girls that really benefited the students.  Twig really flourishes in an environment where she is loved unconditionally, given responsibility, and shown that she has much to offer. 

The setting was well-presented and I wanted very much to visit the place (during the day of course), especially to see the unicorns.  Russell's unicorn mythology I thought was well-developed and explained. Truly an enjoyable read for those readers who love unicorns and stories of growing into one's own skin.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this book a lot too. I really liked the new take on unicorns. Like you, I also liked the setting and the home full of unconditional love. Will you be reading the next one?


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