The Last Unicorn
by Peter S. Beagle
Release date: June 2017
She was magical, beautiful beyond belief—and completely alone…
The unicorn had lived since before memory in a forest where death could touch nothing. Maidens who caught a glimpse of her glory were blessed by enchantment they would never forget. But outside her wondrous realm, dark whispers and rumours carried a message she could not ignore: “Unicorns are gone from the world.”
Aided by a bumbling magician and an indomitable spinster, she set out to learn the truth. but she feared even her immortal wisdom meant nothing in a world where a mad king’s curse and terror incarnate lived only to stalk the last unicorn to her doom..
A story that at times is lyrical and beautiful and at other satirical and biting. The genius is that the author is able to seamlessly switch between the two. The story is a fairy tale, but one that is self aware. It’s pure fantasy, knows it’s pure fantasy and pour everything into the mix. It’s quiet an unusual way to present a story, but I loved it.
The descriptions of scenery in the book are wonderful, and transport you to the world of the book (I must say, on this point, the movie got it right.) The places I visited in this book feel like real places in my imagination, which is saying something because at times they are quite absurd, and completely fantastical.
The characters are rich and each one you encounter has the weight of a thousand untold stories behind it. Even the minor characters feel well thought out.
The main character, the last unicorn, is the most beautiful and bizarre character in the book. I believe that’s on purpose, unicorns are meant to be wild, and almost alien creatures to humans.
It’s easy to understand why this book is considered a classic. This is a story I will remember long after I’ve put the book away. The Last Unicorn will continue to live on in my imagination.
This book was so lovely and enchanting. I can’t believe that I waited so long to read it! A treasure of a fantasy story.
“Take me with you. For laughs, for luck, for the unknown. Take me with you.”
2 replies on “The Last Unicorn: Review”
Hmm, I read this a few years ago (apparently eight years ago!). I’ve learnt that I struggle with a lot of classic fantasy, but your review makes me contemplate giving this one a reread.
I can certainly see that this book wouldn’t appeal to everyone. I was confused by the satire at first. It took awhile for me to understand that the story is self-aware of being a fairy tale and when fantasy troupes are used it’s done in a kind of wink-wink-nudge-nudge way.