Wonder Light (Unicorns of the Mist)

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9781402279898: Wonder Light (Unicorns of the Mist)

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'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

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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 nonprofit judo club. She loves to read and draw, and like Twig, once spent a lot of time sketching unicorns. Visit her at RRRussellauthor.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

Keely turned off the ignition and pointed at the haunted island. "Well, Twig," she said, "there it is."

Mist swirled around the island in circles of warning. Spirals of rain and wind and secrets seemed to say, If you come, Twig, we will break you on our rocks like the waves. No one had lived on Lonehorn Island in recent memory, until the Murleys-and now a bunch of unwanted girls. Soon Twig would join them.

The wind whooshed from the island to shore and beat at the car windows with new fistfuls of rain. We are the Island. Leave us alone, Twig, or we will snap you.

Well, Keely would certainly get her way then. Keely said Twig's name as if she wished Twig would snap in two. Twig had liked her name, back when Daddy called her Twig as though he were certain one day she'd sprout leaves of pure gold. Now Daddy said her name like she was already broken. Now Daddy wasn't there, and Twig wouldn't be around when he came home.

A small, bright blue boat pulled up to the dock in front of the parking lot. A man in worn jeans and a dark green raincoat climbed out and tossed a line onto the dock. He paused to wave before tying down, and Keely smiled stiffly and waved back.

Then Keely looked at Twig, her resolve visibly softening. "Maybe I should come with you. The Murleys said it would be all right."

Twig shook her head firmly.

"Okay." The edge returned to Keely's voice. "Let's go meet Mr. Murley. Looks like he's got one of the other girls with him. Maybe you two can get to know each other on the way. Make friends." You'd better, Twig, her tone said. You'll be there for a long, long time.

Twig glared at the boat, at the small face pressed up against the window of the cabin. She got out and gave her car door a good slam. The rain lightened into fine, misty drops.

Twig ought to have been glad to get out of the car. The three-hour drive north along the Washington coast to Cedar Harbor had been cold and dark and quiet. But thinking about Lonehorn Island made her want to jump right back in the car and beg her stepmother to take her home.

The little island in the distance was one of many scattered off the rocky coast beyond Cedar Harbor, but it was the only haunted one.

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