The Last Unicorn
is one of the true classics of fantasy, ranking with Tolkien's The Hobbit
, Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy
, and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland
. Beagle writes a shimmering prose-poetry, the voice of fairy tales and childhood:
The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night. But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea.
The unicorn discovers that she is the last unicorn in the world, and sets off to find the others. She meets Schmendrick the Magician--whose magic seldom works, and never as he intended--when he rescues her from Mommy Fortuna's Midnight Carnival, where only some of the mythical beasts displayed are illusions. They are joined by Molly Grue, who believes in legends despite her experiences with a Robin Hood wannabe and his unmerry men. Ahead wait King Haggard and his Red Bull, who banished unicorns from the land.
This is a book no fantasy reader should miss; Beagle argues brilliantly the need for magic in our lives and the folly of forgetting to dream. --Nona Vero
--This text refers to the
From Publishers Weekly
Since it was first published in 1968, Beagle's beloved fantasy novel has been made into a stage play and a film—and now this gorgeous, emotive graphic novel adaptation. Set in a fully realized but slightly tongue-in-cheek fantasy world that has inspired everything from The Princess Bride to Stardust, Beagle's story is a romantic fable about a regal unicorn who leaves the forest she has protected since time immemorial to find more of her kin. After a short spell of imprisonment by a witch's traveling circus, she journeys onward with an accident-prone magician, hoping to find the answer to her quest in the land of a coldhearted king and a monstrously fearsome red bull. Along the way, the unicorn and her good-hearted but hapless companion have many encounters, including one with a Robin Hood–esque group of bandits who seem dropped in from a Monty Python skit. Beagle's sumptuously descriptive writing, adapted ably by Gillis, casts a spell throughout, while De Liz's glowing, painterly artwork meshes perfectly with the haunting otherworldly beauty of the story. (Feb.)
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