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Year of the Unicorn (Witch World Series) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
"Year of the Unicorn" is a grand adventure, a love story, a coming-of-age novel set like a jewel amidst the fantastical Dark and Light of Norton's Witch World. 'Unicorn' veers away from the 'mainstream' WW adventures of the Tregarth family ("Witch World", "Web of the Witch World", "Three Against the Witch World", etc.), but it is perfect in its own setting (the Wastes and Dales of High Hallack), and in its own right. This is Norton at the top of her form.
The heroine, Gillan realizes that she is not meant for the quiet life of her vowed companions. She possesses a magic that is forbidden to the goodly Dames, and a restless curiosity that is stifled behind the stone walls of the Abbey. And so she rides forth, disguised as the bride who had threatened to kill herself rather than marry a Were-rider. In order to survive, Gillan must rely on her unschooled magic to separate illusion from reality, and true love from the snarling masks of the Were pack.
"Year of the Unicorn" is a grand adventure, a love story, a coming-of-age novel set like a jewel amidst the fantastical Dark and Light of Norton's Witch World. `Unicorn' veers away from the `mainstream' WW adventures of the Tregarth family ("Witch World", "Web of the Witch World", "Three Against the Witch World", etc.), but it is perfect in its own setting (the Wastes and Dales of High Hallack), and in its own right.
Gillan is by birth one of the famed witches of Estcarp, though she doesn't know it. She has been raised all her life in Norstead abbey on a war-ravaged continent. Longing for change from the quiet life of the abbey, she agrees to be one of the thirteen brides sent to the Were Riders, a mysterious clan of shape-shifting sorcerers who demanded wives as tribute for their aid in the war.
Danger and uncertainty trouble Gillan on the journey. She sees truth where the other brides see only illusion. She hides her powers from the suspicious Were Riders, who want from her only blind submission. And she must learn how to trust her strange new husband, Herrel, even as others in the clan are jealous of his good fortune and would steal his bride from him.
This short book is like nothing I've read before from Norton or, for that matter, any other author. I believe this relic of a novel (published in 1965) is a glimpse into the talent of the true Andre Norton, before the flood of under-baked, co-authored (and possibly ghostwritten) books published under her banner during the last decade.Read more ›
Year of the Unicorn has a completely different feel from the previous Witch World novels. It's written in first person and is, therefore, much more introspective than the action-packed stories about Simon and Jaelithe. The prose, also, has a completely different tone, and is most comparable (in my experience) to Ursula Le Guin's. This comparison seems especially notable with the audio edition because it feels a lot like the audio version of Le Guin's Voices -- even the voice of the reader (though different) is extremely similar. Kate Rudd reads Year of the Unicorn for Brilliance Audio and she does a great job.
I enjoyed learning more about Andre Norton's universe. The world-building is extensive and Norton avoids infodumping, so we just get a tantalizing glimpse of the Witch World with each book. The first half of Year of the Unicorn flies by while we learn about High Hallack and get to know Gillan as she makes sneaky plans and moves quickly to implement them. Unfortunately, the magic system, which relies mostly on willpower, is not so intriguing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book to be... disappointing. It is the first Andre Norton book I have read, and I imagine I shall yet read others. Read morePublished 5 months ago by J. Haunstrup
I've had a soft spot for Andrea Norton since I read her books back in the 60s. Great stories, very appealing to a teenage girl. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Sun Lover
Year of the Unicorn has a publication year of 1965. Next year is 2015 and it will be fifty years since the novel was published. Read morePublished 17 months ago by bmuse
The focus is fully on Gillan as she struggles with her magical abilities and the intrigue within the were-riders, especially since they target Herrel, the man she has chosen for a... Read morePublished on May 7, 2013 by Aldrea Alien
Year f the Unicorn is a somewhat odd Witch World spinoff. It depends heavily on journeys through nightmare dream landscapes, which I must confess I have always had trouble... Read morePublished on October 19, 2012 by Daniel L. Dionne
Knowing which Andre Norton novel to choose from her prolific output can be a daunting task. I confess the late great Ms. Norton is not my favorite author. Read morePublished on September 14, 2012 by Marysia
I am a huge Andre Norton fan. I've been reading her stuff for over 40 years. I own just about every book she has ever written, including most of her Witch World books, and the... Read morePublished on September 26, 2011 by Lynn McMillen