Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

Title: The Last Unicorn
Author: Peter S. Beagle
Published: 1961
Source: Purchased
Genre: Childrens Fantasy
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
The Last Unicorn is one of the true classics of fantasy, ranking with Tolkien's The Hobbit, Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy, and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Beagle writes a shimmering prose-poetry, the voice of fairy tales and childhood:
The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night. But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea.

The unicorn discovers that she is the last unicorn in the world, and sets off to find the others. She meets Schmendrick the Magician--whose magic seldom works, and never as he intended--when he rescues her from Mommy Fortuna's Midnight Carnival, where only some of the mythical beasts displayed are illusions. They are joined by Molly Grue, who believes in legends despite her experiences with a Robin Hood wannabe and his unmerry men. Ahead wait King Haggard and his Red Bull, who banished unicorns from the land.

This is a book no fantasy reader should miss; Beagle argues brilliantly the need for magic in our lives and the folly of forgetting to dream. --Nona Vero

My Thoughts:

I have heard so much about this story from people in real life and also many of the My Little Pony friends of mine on forums. It was one of those books I really wanted to get to, especially before I saw the movie, although I was tempted to watch the movie before reading it a few times. I am glad I read the book first though.

I had a completely different vision going in to this one. I didn’t imagine the Magician and Molly and the other cast of characters. I thought it was going to be an animal journey, no humans, or at least, not that many. It was still interesting the way it progressed, and how the unicorn interacted with humans and animals. I loved the poetic writing and the lines that the unicorn said about life and reality, making everything come into focus, crystal clear.

I was a little off put by the way it ended. Not that it wasn’t well done, because it was (it REALLY was), but I didn’t expect that. Or to be so torn by the departure of everyone, and the pain faced by each. It’s a mixed emotion.

The Last Unicorn was inspiring and bizarre. I can see why it is beloved by so many. The story itself was a maze of brilliance and beauty. Peter S. Beagle created an amazing world and a timeless classic. Now to watch the movie.

My Rating:


  1. Oh, good luck with movie. My sister and I still make fun of it. I do hear the book is great though.

    1. I know some people who adore this movie, so it'll be interesting to see what I think of it now. :)


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