The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle
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 the sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch – and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction.
“Comes alive and stays alive on bright intensity of imagination.” The New York Times Book Review
“Beagle… has been compared, not unreasonably, with Lewis Carroll and J.R.R. Tolkien, but he stands squarely and triumphantly on his own feet… The book is rich, not only in comic bits but also in passages of uncommon beauty. Beagle is a true magician with words, a master of prose and a deft practitioner in verse.” The Saturday Review
“Almost as if it were the last fairy tale, come out of lonely hiding in the forests of childhood, The Last Unicorn is as full of enchantment as any of the favourite tales readers may well choose to recall… a delicate, sensitive, yet powerful rendering of all the intangibles that make a fairy tale unforgettable.” St Louis Post-Dispatch
“Peter Beagle is a writer of the first order. His charm, wit, and stylistic brilliance have gone into a work to which I will return often and with great pleasure. This is a novel and writer that should be read and reread.” Chicago News
“If there were a ‘ten best’ list of modern fantasy, The Last Unicorn would surely be on it.” Fantasy Literature: A Core Collection and Reference Guide
“The plot is a classic quest structure-an impossible goal, a motley company, heroes, villains, monsters, magic, desperate chances, bittersweet success. The last unicorn in the world sets out from her enchanted wood to discover the fate of her kin… In the process she becomes, briefly and agonizingly, human… What makes The Last Unicorn unique is the way Mr. Beagle transcends the ordinary fantasy quest trope with his incomparable storytelling skill. The book is a triumph… The writing is as precise and beautiful as mosaic tiles, as coloured glass backed by gold, sharp and glittering. Part of the wonder is the effortless way Mr. Beagle combines fairy-tale imagery with matter-of-fact modernity. He slides easily from a heroic fantasy to laugh-out-loud funny: a sorcerer confronts an enemy with ‘demons, metamorphoses, paralysing ailments and secret judo holds’; a prince rides home singing in harmony with the severed ogre’s head lashed to his saddle. The story has an intimacy and immediacy that captivates the reader. You don’t read this with the futile wish that such things would happen to you-you read it and believe, at once, that they could.” The Green Man Review
“Very highly recommended… this is a darn fine book. Charming, cuttingly humorous, moving, affirming… I guess ‘poignant’ says it all. Buy it, read it, savour it. A five out of five.” Yet Another Book Review Site
This The Last Unicorn book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read The Last Unicorn?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Last Unicorn reader reviews
Nadine from Austria
I fell in love with the movie first but the book is fantastic, even if you already know the story. Beagle brings a depth to his prose and characters that makes every page enjoyable. The writing is lyrical and beautiful and every word has its place. There is literally nothing I would change about this story. A full review can be read at: http://sffbookreview.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/peter-s-beagle-the-last-unicorn/
Sharon from US
One of my favorites as a young teen. Really pulls your heart.
Smith from Tucson, AZ
I think this book was completley uneccesary and annoying and extremely boring and stupid and I HATED every second of it.
Heather from New Zealand
My favourite fantasy. It is one of those stories that will not leave your head, and when you read it you don't quite know whether to laugh or cry. It's poignant and hilarious by turns, the writing is lyrical and beautiful, and the unicorn is everything I ever half-dreamt a unicorn had to be. It is one of the few truly magical books I have ever read, and even this praise is too little. There's a novella-length sequel called "Two Hearts", which has many of the same qualities and is therefore fantastic, but nothing - *nothing* - matches the original.
7.9/10 from 5 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Heroes of the Valley
Listen then, and I'll tell you again of the Battle of the Rock. But none of your usual wriggling, or I'll stop before I've begun... Halli loves the old stories ...
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Follow Jared, Simon and Mallory Grace into a world filled with elves, goblins, trolls in the Spiderwick Chronicles. It all starts when Jared Grace find their great uncle...
The Ghost of Shadow Vale
Glam killed the monster of Shadow Vale-but he also died in the fight. Now Glam's ghost has come back and he's worse than the monster ever was... Barrington Stoke sp...
King of the Cloud Forests
When Japan invades China, Ashley and Uncle Sung are forced to flee. It is a perilous journey across the Himalayas, and they struggle to survive. Then Ashley is captured. Wh...
The Adventures of Pinocchio
In an Italian village, Geppetto, an old woodcarver, receives a piece of wood which looks perfect for his next project, a puppet. But when he sets to work something magical ...
Do you think Cinderella married the prince and lived happily ever after, and that the three little pigs outsmarted the wolf? Think again! Premier storyteller Roald Dahl twi...
Roald Dahl's inimitable style and humor shine in this collection of poems about mischievous and mysterious animals. From Stingaling the scorpion to Crocky-Wock the croc...
The Mountain's Blood
Retelling of Sumerian myth about the goddess Inanna and her fight with a mountain....
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
Downfall of the Gods
If you visit the Temple and ask nicely for forgiveness, you might get it - assuming you aren't Lord Archias and you haven't killed the Goddess's favorite musician,...
Huginn and Muninn, the Eyes of Thought and Mind; Freyr the Blade that stands alone; Mjolnir, Thunder, strength and devastator. Gods bloodied and wounded, that live and die. Ta...
Long before she was the Queen of Hearts, Catherine Pinkerton was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a fa...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's just about surviving, so long as he only takes his beloved plane for short journeys, and saves his remaining fuel. But, just once, he picks up a message from another pilot, a...
Beren and Luthien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien wil...
Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn h...
While honeymooning in the Tower of Babel, Thomas Senlin loses his wife, Marya. The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel of the Silk Age. Immense as a mountain, the ancient...
The Ninth Rain
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the real...
The Court of Broken Knives
Anna Smith Spark
They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we pi...
With Blood Upon the Sand
Ceda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further t...