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Dark Whispers (Unicorn Chronicles #3)

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,091 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
At last--the long-awaited third volume of Bruce Coville's best-selling series, The Unicorn Chronicles!

This is a tale of two quests: Cara Diana Hunter's search for an ancient story that may unravel the secret of the long enmity between the unicorns and the delvers, and her father's journey to free Cara's mother from the Rainbow Prison. Cara's journey leads her through the s
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Hardcover, 464 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Scholastic Press (first published July 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tamora Pierce
Aug 06, 2011 Tamora Pierce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-ya-yr
Okay, I admit, I'm prejudiced--Bruce is my best male friend, my writing buddy, and he read DARK WHISPERS to me as I read BLOODHOUND to him.

That's all beside the point. This is a powerful addition to the Unicorn Chronicles as Cara's family struggles to come together while the evil sorceress Beloved begins her campaign to destroy the unicorn world Luster and all who live there. Cara is coming into her own as an emissary of the unicorns, gathering vital information for them that will reveal Belove
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Mark
Sep 17, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of the impossible becoming possible
Is it a rule of the Universe chiselled into stone somewhere that once a novelist begins to write a series each book has to, by law, become more and more of a door stop...or a la Shovelmonkey....a kitten-squisher. The first two entries in the series were manageable and readable and no real danger to any small furry mammals walking underneath but this one and the final volume could probably take on the last few volumes of Potterworld and give them a good run for their money in literary sumo. The o ...more
Izlinda
Sep 15, 2008 Izlinda rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
The last time I read the second book was about a decade ago, so the finer details escaped me. A lot of the times in the beginning I was going "HUH?? I don't remember this happening!" In fact, I remember the first book much better.

At the beginning I complained a bit to someone that I felt Coville had suddenly pulled out this old, nearly lost prophecy about a more powerful and dangerous enemy for the unicorns out of the blue. Yes, since it's an old prophecy that nobody except one character had he
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Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Welcome to ULA––Unicorn Lovers Anonymous. Who would like to speak first?

*Stands up* Hello, friends. I'm Brigid and when I was 9 years old, I was a unicorn addict. I have now been sober for almost ten years now ... well, except for that I went into a brief relapse so that I could read this book.

Anyway, I have Bruce Coville to blame for the unicorn addiction. He hooked me with the first two Unicorn Chronicles books and then decided to take a whole decade-long break from publishing them, thus leavi
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Stormcloud
Jul 21, 2010 Stormcloud rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Smilingplatypus
This is the third book in The Unicorn Chronicles, and I think it is the strongest book in the series so far. Cara and her assorted companions are on a quest to prevent the Hunters from entering Luster to kill the unicorns (and yes, I'm aware of how silly that sounds. Somehow the book is better than that). At the same time, her father has teamed up with some unusual allies to rescue his wife from an ethereal prison. As a protagonist, Cara has never had much personality, and I've always been more ...more
Kaila
The first two novels of this series I read an older printing of (this series isn't available on the Kindle, unfortunately), and the third novel, Dark Whispers, was my first contact with the reprints. They got a new artist, which I think is a travesty as the covers for Into the Land of the Unicorns and Song of the Wanderer are simply gorgeous and fit the series perfectly. When I brought home my copy of this one, I was aghast at the terrible outfit they made Cara wear on the cover. This is more sh ...more
Lexy
Apr 17, 2011 Lexy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the series. It was very good, and not at all slow!
This book stars 12 year old Cara Diana Hunter as she struggles to save the world she has grown to know and love,Luster,the land of the unicorns.
When the queen of the unicorns discovers that she may soon be at war with the horrible Beloved and her followers the Hunter,who are set out to rid both Earth and Luster of all unicorns forever, she sends Cara in search of a story that could hold the key to there survival,the sto
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Megan
Sep 28, 2008 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the series
This book lacked the spark, the innocence, that the first two books had. This one was longer (not that I would complain about the size) and it had a distinctly different tone than Into the Land of the Unicorns and Song of the Wanderer.

Throughout the entire novel, the point of view switches between a multitude of characters. (Although the book is told in third person, the view does change -- almost every chapter.) Just as you get into the story of Cara (or the Dimblethum, or the delvers, or Cara'
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Erin
Sep 25, 2008 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of classic children's fantasy
In this volume, Bruce Coville dramatically expands the reach and scope of the Unicorn Chronicles series, while still having continuity with what came before. Coville never talks down to kids, and this book doesn't spare the darkness and intensity. That man can write an evil cliff-hanger too! These books are rich in human insight, and I really think that they are eventually going to be recognized as modern fantasy classics alongside books like Lloyd Alexander's Prydain cycle and Madeleine L'Engle ...more
Simon Driscoll
Apr 04, 2016 Simon Driscoll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruce continues to demonstrate his imagination in this book. As the story of Cara continues, her understanding of Luster deepens, and she sees this land is not idyllic as she originally thought. She takes on tasks that would make grown men run, and shows her true character at every turn.
The story was able to take some twists and turns that took me by surprise (a hard thing to do) yet they fit in with the story, and the foreshadowing is obvious once the outcome is understood.

For parents:
There i
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Jessica McFarland
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
June
Aug 30, 2012 June rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third book in the Unicorn Chronicles. This is a reread for me. A compilation of several quests, Cara is sent to find out the truth of the "Whisperer" from the centaurs, her father is on a quest to rescue her mother from the Rainbow Prison.

"to act with mercy can sometimes be the hardest thing of all."

Cara is able to do a very difficult thing, see each individual and not judge them by the group they belong too.
Clearwater Public Library Staff Picks
Cara, who now knows that she is not only related to the Hunters, a clan led by the evil Beloved, who has sworn to destroy the unicorns, but also to the unicorns themselves, must again undertake a perilous journey. This time she is on the hunt for a lost prophecy that will save the unicorns and prevent Beloved from entering Luster and wiping out the unicorns once and for all. During that quest, Cara discovers a secret about the unicorns past, a secret involving the Whisperer. What is this evil cr ...more
Jaina
Aug 24, 2015 Jaina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blogged
3.5 stars. This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

Bruce Coville got more and more long-winded as this series went on. I'm still trying to decide whether that's a good thing or not. I've never been a huge fan of the technique where the author switches POV every other chapter, telling two separate stories about two separate main characters. I usually find it really annoying, actually, because you're constantly braking to a halt just when one story is getting good, then switching
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Kron
Apr 23, 2015 Kron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed-series
Coville ups his fantasy in this third book in the Unicorn Chronicles.

I started the series when I was 8 and didn't even realized it had been continued and finished. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine how complex and ominous this series would get. Loving it. Seriously. Loving it.

With the battle of unicorns vs Beloved/Hunters looming on the horizon, Coville writes and explores much less innocent worlds. More magic, more characters, more stakes, more creepy Beloved.

The expansion of the POV
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Claire
The youngsters who grew up with the first two books in The Unicorn Chronicles had become teenagers by the time this book was published, so Bruce Coville took the JK Rowling route and upped the maturity level of the story and characters to match the maturity of his readers.

However, since Bruce Coville is known more as a children's author than a YA author, this transition starts out a bit awkwardly. Aspects of the previous books that fit well (or were at least more tolerable) in a children's book
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Lisa
Dec 26, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young girls who love unicorns
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
Dark Whispers (The Unicorn Chronicles #3), by Bruce Coville


Synopsis: At last--the long-awaited third volume of Bruce Coville's best-selling series, The Unicorn Chronicles!
This is a tale of two quests: Cara Diana Hunter's search for an ancient story that may unravel the secret of the long enmity between the unicorns and the delvers, and her father's journey to free Cara's mother from the Rainbow Prison. Cara's journey leads her through the strange underground world of the delvers to the court of
...more
Jennifer
Apr 26, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I began reading "The Unicorn Chronicles" when I was in Elementary School. My best friend and neighbor had shared it with me and we both were in love with the world Coville had created. A few years later we were ecstatic to find the sequel, "Song of the Wanderer," and hoped that the rest of the story would be told soon. And then we waited...and waited...and waited, lol. Finally, as a young adult, I realized he was in the process of writing the final book. But I lost track of it and it was difficu ...more
Shannon
Jun 14, 2011 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is book 3 of 4
Book 1: Into the Land of the Unicorns
Book 2: Song of the Wanderer
Book 4: The Last Hunt

This is a great series -- especially in audio format. In this installment, Cara is given the task of getting a story from the centaurs, her father is searching for the rainbow prison to rescue her mother, and Cara's grandmother and the unicorns are preparing for war.
This book does touch on some tough topics, so younger readers should proceed with caution.
The narrators for some of the characte
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Commodore
Sep 18, 2012 Commodore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to put it at 3.5, but on the higher end because I was more entertained than not.

Not much to say. I read the first two books when I was much younger, so I picked up the other two even though I'm too old (just barely!) for stories about a ginger pre-teen whose best friend is a unicorn. I'd let it go, but the secondary characters and creatures are really wonderful. (I read someone here refer to the Squijim as the series' Jar Jar Binks. I can see where they're coming from as an adult, but
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Whittney Mahle
Feb 21, 2009 Whittney Mahle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruce Coville has been my favorite author since I read his Rod Albright Alien Adventure series in fourth grade. I have been waiting several years for another book in the Unicorn Chronicles with much anticipation, and I was so excited when I found out he was concluding the series. So, you can imagine how surprised I was when I got withing the last 5-10 pages of the book and realized that there was no way for the story to wrap up in that short space... It's not the end of the series! On the one ha ...more
Richard Thomas
A very good read and an excellent addition to the Unicorn Chronicles. This tale follows Cara as she and the unicorns attempt to prepare for the invasion of Beloved and her Hunters into Luster to begin the Final Hunt. Cara is sent on a mission to gather information that may well be the key to the survival of the unicorns. This story begins to fill in some of the backstory of Luster and the unicorns fleeing into this safe harbor as well as that of some of the other creatures in Luster. My main com ...more
Anne Bui
Nov 13, 2013 Anne Bui rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Dark Whispers" by Bruce Coville was an exciting book because of its description, which makes you want to read more about it. I was so obsessed with the book because I wanted to know when the ancient Beloved was going to attack the Unicorn's land. The book is the Third book of "The Unicorn Chronicles." Bruce Coville was very good about making the reader feel sad about the characters. For example, "Lightfoot! Lightfoot, heal her!" says Cara. The Prince had come around the bed. Now he, too, knelt ...more
Abby
Jul 06, 2014 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all the people of the earth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessi Jones
Dec 23, 2015 Jessi Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story just keeps getting better and better. I grew up with the first book, and now I'm finally about to continue the series as an adult and I have not been disappointed yet.

It's hard to believe that unicorns could be anything but pure, so when the twist regarding the Whisperer came about, I was definitely intrigued.

My only problem with the book has nothing to do with the story, but with the artwork on the cover. I find it rather unappealing, and wish they had used something similar to the f
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Cinnamingirl
This book was actually really compelling, which I did not expect. The first two were fine, but this one had several interesting storylines, and ends with a cliffhanger.... I found myself impressed by how much I was intrigued by the various threads and curious about their resolution. I can't pick up the next one right away, but I'm more excited about it than I though I would be.
Marie
Apr 08, 2014 Marie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth-fiction
I hated this book the tone felt completely different from the first two books that I loved. I don't like how he splits the story between Cara and her father. Overall though well written it just did not have the rhythm and feel of the first two books. I guess that is what happens when you take so long too long to finish the book and you change editors.
Stephanie (Once Upon a Chapter)
Jan 05, 2013 Stephanie (Once Upon a Chapter) rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I want to start by saying I feel the first two books in this series are middlegrade fantasy and this book is more young adult fantasy. In Dark Whispers, Bruce Coville has added a wiseness and maturity to Cara that seemed False in the first two books. Cara must face the reality of real loss in Dark Whispers and I found that I cared more because not everything was sunshine and roses.

I really enjoyed this trip to Luster. The storyline didn’t really advance that much but Coville explained SO much of
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Lela
Even though I still love the characters that I love, I didn't find this book as engaging as the ones before, but I believe a lot of it has to do with the fact that there's a cliffhanger at the end of the last book that doesn't get resolved throughout this book. Instead of the book building to a climax and resolution, it stays plateaued with other things circling around the main issue and complicating it. I also found these "complications" to be offputting. The new "bad guys" seem unnecessary. I ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Unicorn Chronicles (4 books)
  • Into the Land of the Unicorns (Unicorn Chronicles, #1)
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  • The Last Hunt (Unicorn Chronicles, #4)

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“I am ignoring you. In fact, I think you are a figment of my imagination.” 82 likes
“Hearts grow hard and weary. Pain spreads, and joy diminishes. Those who hated you hate you still, but those who loved you, or would have loved you, or wanted to love you but never had the chance, are being scraped hollow by a loss they don't understand. Come home. Please come home. We are withering without you.” 3 likes
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