Middle Grade Review: Wonder Light: Unicorns of the Mist


Wonder Light: Unicorns of the Mist by R.R. Russell

Age Range: 9 and up

Grade Level: 4 – 6

Hardcover: 256 pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (May 7, 2013)

Series: Unicorns of the Mist #1

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (thank you!)

Rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

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

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.

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…

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“R. R. Russell’s Wonder Light
dares to explore a world where unicorns are creatures of wonder and
power, and girls can find both strength and courage to be themselves.”
-Robin Hobb, International bestselling author.

About the Author:

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 rrrussellauthor.com.

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My Thoughts:

There are some really amazing middle grade books being published, and
this is definitely one of them. I loved all the characters, but Twig
captured my heart and I rooted for her throughout the entire book.

When Twig arrives on Lonehorn Island at a home for troubled girls, she
is quiet, antagonistic, and refuses to trust anyone. She feels like nobody wants her
and she has a difficult time adjusting to life on the ranch. This
gradually changes as she gets to know her pony, her roommate Casey, and
her guardians, Mr. and Mrs. Murley. She grows over the course of the
book and learns to open herself up a little bit. Of course, the birth
and responsibility of caring for a new unicorn filly also helps the
process along.

Twig is a great character. She is a good friend to those around her and
she works really hard at learning the skills she needs to help save the
ranch. Skills such as sword fighting, and shooting a bow and arrow from
the back of a leaping unicorn! Ben is another great character. He is
mysterious and kind of spooky in the beginning, but he proves to be
brave and stalwart in his loyalties and friendship.

I started reading this book to my girls, thinking that they would like
it. It is about unicorns, after all. However, I quickly realized that
this is not a typical unicorn story, and was way over the comprehension
of my five year old. So I finished reading it myself. I loved it! My
girls would have loved it if they were older.

This book is not just
for girls. It is for everyone, of any age, as long as that age is 9 or
older.  You’ve never read about unicorns like this! They are smart and
moody and quite dangerous, and if you aren’t careful, they just might
eat you.

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  • Reply
    Adriana Garcia
    September 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    You are going to send a "troubled" girl to a pony ranch! That must be a dream come true for most girls. I've never read a book about unicorns but this one seems to be more about Twig than unicorns anyways. I really like how Twig learns to sword fight and use a bow and arrow. A lot of girls can look up to a character like that (:

    • Reply
      September 6, 2013 at 1:10 am

      You are right, the book is more about Twig than the unicorns. But they play a very important part of the story.

      I wanted a pony so much when I was a kid. Okay, I still do. The ranch would be a dream come true! 😉

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