Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Last Unicorn

Level: Adult
Genre: Fantasy > High Fantasy
Obtained: Purchased at Borders
Reviewed by: Nic Echo

About the Book:
In the Lilac Wood lives a unicorn but not just any unicorn. She is the last of her kind, and this news urges her to seek the others out. Along her journey, she encounters many hardships and terrors such as Mommy Fortuna and the Red Bull. However, she also makes many allies such as Molly Grue and Schmendrick, a bumbling magician. The three of them eventually find themselves at the castle of King Haggard, where they hope to find the other unicorns.

Rating: 8/10
After seeing the animated film countless times, I had decided it was finally time to read the novel and fill in those missing or changed details. I didn't miss much. In fact, story wise, the movie is very much on par to the book, which might have been why I didn't like it as much as I thought I would have. I heavily enjoyed getting to learn more about Schmendrick however. In the film, I really could have cared less about him, but upon finding out about his past, he became more real to me. I still cannot say I ended up caring for him perse, but he made out to be more interesting.

The writing style also wasn't entirely to my liking, but I do believe it worked well for the story by embracing its spirit. Of course, it was told in a way similar to that of a fairy tale (though less repetitive). It had many features that are held in your typical fairy tale as well: an evil king, a wandering wizard, a young hero, and even a cursed kingdom with a prophecy.

I ended up liking The Last Unicorn well enough, but it is never going to be a favourite of mine. There was nothing particularly wrong with the book. It's simply personal tastes on this one more than anything, but I'd recommend it to anyone who has a liking for fantasy. Beagle managed to create a classic and original piece while still keeping some well known factors, and that isn't always an easy thing to do.

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