The Last Unicorn

Being the general nerd that I am, I listen to various podcasts concerning writing and storytelling and author interviews and whatnot.  One of the common questions that authors face in interviews is to talk about the books that they enjoy reading.  During an interview with Pat Rothfuss (author of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear) he was asked about books he said that The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle was a perfect book.  As I’m always looking for books to read, when an author whose work I enjoy says that something is a perfect book, I’ll check it out.  So here’s my review for The Last Unicorn.

Book Stats

294 pages

Fantasy

Stand Alone

Characters

The unicorn that we follow throughout the book is never named, but it’s interesting to see how an immortal unicorn looks at things in the world.  During the course of the book the unicorn also meets Schmendrick the magician, who is a poor example of a magician because he can’t really do much magic beyond simple parlor tricks.  Even without being able to do a lot of magic, Schmendrick is very knowledgeable about many aspects of the world.  The last character that we follow throughout the world is Molly Grue.  I hate to say this, but there is nothing really distinctive about Molly.  She joins the unicorn and Schmendrick because she is able to see the unicorn for what she really is and just kind of tags along with them throughout the rest of the book.

Setting

Pretty standard medieval European fantasy setting.  Nothing terribly original or overwhelming here.

Plot

While in her forest one day, the unicorn hears two hunters talking.  One hunter says to the other that they won’t be able to catch anything in the forest because the unicorn there will stop them from catching anything.  The other hunter says that there aren’t any unicorns in the world anymore because no one has seen a unicorn for years.  After hearing this, the unicorn decides to set out from her forest to see if she can find another unicorn.

Enjoyment

Again, I heard of this book because Pat Rothfuss described it as a perfect book.  While I don’t think that the book is perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it is a fairly solid book.  I was never terribly surprised by anything in this book, but it was executed fairly well.  This book isn’t one that I would suggest to people terribly quickly, but if you were already looking into reading it, I wouldn’t turn you away from it.

Overall Grade

Nothing outstanding, but a pretty solid book.

6/10

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4 Comments

  1. beckyday6

     /  October 28, 2011

    This sounds really similar to a film I watched when I was younger! Do you know if this has been adapted into any films?

    Reply
    • I just checked IMDB and there was an animated movie released in 1982 based upon the novel. IMDB has Beagle listed as both the author for the novel and the screenplay. I might have to check out the movie eventually, just looking at the pictures listed on IMDB the artistic style of the movie looks really cool.

      Reply
  2. beckyday6

     /  October 28, 2011

    Yeah, that sounds like it! I used to love that film so much when I was younger, it was at that age when all girls suddenly start liking horses. :L
    I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog and found this post! This book is definitely going on my books to buy list!

    Reply
  1. DAY 12: A Book You Wanted to Read for a Long Time but Still Haven’t. | Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic

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