Paperback, 294 pages.
Read from July 07 to 14, 2015.
When I think about movies that stuck with me as a child, The Last Unicorn falls in my top 3 favourites without a question. It reminds me of lazy Sundays and sleepovers with my cousins. I didn’t know until this last year that the movie itself was based on a book, which was pretty exciting news for me. Normally, I wouldn’t read a book after watching the movie, as I almost always read the book first, but I forgave my childhood ignorance for not knowing about this book’s existence and read it anyway.
The unicorn lives an immortal life and anywhere a unicorn lives is prosperous and inspired. The unicorn in this story has lived in the same forest her whole life and has been completely content to keep things that way. That is until she hears the ramblings of a butterfly informing her that she is last of her kind. After much deliberation the Unicorn decides to leave her forest in search of her own kind. She is presented with a world she doesn’t recognize. People have gone so long without seeing unicorns that many do not see her as one, but rather a pretty mare. After falling asleep one evening during her travels she is captured by Momma Fortuna and who has a traveling carnival of ‘monsters’ and mythical creatures. This is how she meets Schmendrik the Magician. Schmendrik helps her escape from Momma Fortuna and she reluctantly agrees to take him on her quest. Shortly afterwards, another member joins their quest, Molly Grue, after being held captive by some thieves that seem to think that they’re something similar to Robin Hood and his men.
The three of them get word that the last of the unicorns are some where around the horrid King Haggard’s castle and his terrifying Red Bull. As the three of them come upon the castle a situation unfolds in which Shemendrik has to make a very rash decision with his magic in order to save the Unicorn’s life. The decision will ultimately change the Unicorn forever and lead her to know the truth about where the rest of the other unicorns are and forcing her to make decisions that no unicorn has ever had to make.
The movie plot line is almost identical to the book with a few missing scenes which, as a book lover, was nice to see. It was however also nice to have a few scenes that were a bit different from the movie so that their were some surprises left for me in reading the book.
This book is remarkably adventurous and imaginative, so it’s no wonder that it’s consider a classic among young adult novels. Outside of the adventure the characters are very dynamic and approachable. Schmendrik struggles with his magical abilities, is cursed, and doubts himself constantly. Whereas Molly is stubborn, and strong after years of being controlled by her father before she ran away with a group of thieves, but she still has a softness in her heart for the belief of unicorns and tales of Robin Hood. These aspects make the book appealing at any age. The characters are just complicated enough that an adult can appreciate them but they are also genuine enough that a youth will enjoy them as well. I would recommend this book to anyone young at heart and for those that still want to nurture their imaginations.