The Last Unicorn (Peter S. Beagle)

The Last Unicorn The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the back cover: "The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone...so she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch - and confronting the creature that would driver her kind to extinction."
 
This is lovely. Lovely, lovely, heartbreaking, lovely. The story is narrated in the dreamy way you'd expect from spoken fairy tales, and one can almost imagine some mother reading it as a bedtime story...until it turns darker. Perhaps what I loved most about this story was the complexity of the themes underlying the simplicity of the surface.

I heard a lot about this book before I ended up reading it, and I was definitely not disappointed. Recommended for anyone who wants to really dig into the fantasy genre. I will say this, though: The Last Unicorn is certainly not for every reader, and even perhaps not for certain moods. This is a book one should settle into on a rainy day, with a hot cup of tea or chocolate. It's a book like a long bubble bath - for the readers who want to take their time.

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