Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Ten-year-old Priscilla discovers that helping someone solve their problems can often help you solve your own—if you are brave enough. 

In “The Horse Gate,” 10-year-old Priscilla must overcome her own fear of flying to help Spiridon, a young, winged horse, learn to fly by hearing his missing father’s song. The evil Countess and her Black Band of Bears capture Priscilla and Spiridon and pen them up with other winged horses, including Spiridon’s father Mirabilis. After Priscilla escapes the pen, she frees Mirabilis, flies through the Horse Gate in the sky into the city of winged horses and recruits those horses to help free the others. Together, they defeat the Countess and the Bears. Having heard his father’s song, Spiridon can now fly.

Priscilla travels back to Visus to return the magic music box and discovers that Spiridon, a blue-winged horse, has mysteriously lost his father, Mirabilis. If Mirabilis does not return and teach his son how to fly, Spiridon will lose his wings in a matter of days. Priscilla understands Spiridon’s troubles because of her own fear of flying. After a stirring dream of what it would be like to fly, Priscilla departs immediately on Spiridon to save Mirabilis, captured along with the other winged horses by the ferocious Black Band of Bears. She recruits the skillful marksman Joshua and confides that she really misses her friends Effie and Lucas, without whom she is vulnerable to all kinds of danger.

Joshua once faced the Black Band of Bears and lost one of his closest cousins—facing them the second time will not be easy. Soon after Priscilla and Joshua depart on Spiridon, the Bears corner them and throw them in a pen with Mirabilis and the other missing winged horses. The wretched Countess T’zila Tzigane, who wants to kill Priscilla, plans to force the horses of Visus to help her overtake the neighboring land of Unne, a cold, robotic place that merely uses dreams for practical purposes. Despite Priscilla’s fear of flying, she follows instructions from a dream, breaks Mirabilis’ chains, and she and Joshua fly on him through a magical gate in the sky. The Horse Gate leads to Zione, a glass city in the clouds, home of winged horses. The ruler of Zione assures Priscilla that she and the horses of Zione can surely rescue Spiridon and the other horses of Visus. 

Along the way, Priscilla reunites with Effie and Lucas. She encounters obstacles and makes new friends, including Albert, the son of the King of Unne. After a tumultuous battle in Unne, Priscilla rescues the winged horses of Visus and defeats T’zila and the Black Band of Bears. Spiridon learns to fly in the nick of time with inspiration from Priscilla’s song about overcoming her own fear of flying. Priscilla brings freedom to the land of Unne. She even finds its hidden treasure chest, which is filled with music. Priscilla returns to Visus, flying on Spiridon in triumph, all because of her brave and daring journey through the Horse Gate.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters

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