Review: The Last Unicorn

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The Last UnicornThe Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked this book. Schmendrick the wizard and Molly Grue are two lovely characters and, while I didn’t really care much for the fate of the unicorn, it was a delight following them in their adventure. Haggard and the Red Bull make for fantastic villains, one not so much evil as disillusioned, the other impossibly vast and terrible. The first part in the carnival is especially poignant about the relationship of human beings with magic, wonder, and how we see reality.

It is clear from the very beginning that this is more fairy tale than modern fantasy: magic is wild and unpredictable, and unicorns and harpies can coexist with old hags, carnivals, and Robin Hood wannabes. Unfortunately this mix and match of various elements makes it suffer a little from what I call “Narnia syndrome”, as occasionally it takes a much more childish tone or make anachronistic remarks, which is what is holding me back from giving it a full 5 stars.

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