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Gold Unicorn (Unicorn, #2)
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Gold Unicorn (Unicorn #2)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,262 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Tanaquil, a young mender, and her familiar come face to face with her half-sister, Lizra, who forces Tanaquil to make a perilous choice between siding with Lizra in her quest for conquest or risking her terrible anger.
Hardcover, 149 pages
Published October 1st 1994 by Atheneum Books
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Rating details
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N.T. Embe
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Those interested in continuing the series.
Recommended to N.T. by: The first book.
Shelves: fantasy, unicorns

This was not horrible, but it was not what the first book was to me. Mind you, I get it. I get it. I understand everything the story did. And I didn't hate the characters either. In fact, I think the characters are still the strongest part of this book. What you had to go through was a bunch of bollocks, but I understand entirely why we went through it all. It made sense. And I have definitely not been put off from this book even though it was not spectacular. There is a love in my heart even fo
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This seems to be one of those books that you either really like or think is really boring. I really liked it. Tanith Lee's books are just like that, I think--they're smart and thoughtful and quiet and there's rarely a ton of action. Things that stood out to me in this one:

I like that Tanaquil's relationships with Lizra and Honj are complicated, and how self aware Tanaquil is about her motivations for staying with them, even though she doesn't agree with what they're doing. I love her relationshi
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The peeve just keeps on getting more and more amusing! I think I like him better than the main character! The storyline was also interesting. Good quick read with a few chuckles thrown in, mostly because of the peeve.
Rain Misoa
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Unicorn fans and people who enjoy peeking into other worlds.
Recommended to Rain by: N.T. Embe
A fun little story with frightening unicorns!

To read my full review, click here.
Cori Thomas
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is going to be lengthy and a little roundabout up here I go...
When I first read this book I was in middle school ~12or so. I loved it and tried as hard as I could to find the prequel. The pet peeve was my favorite character (I -for some quark of the universe- find all of Thanith Lee’s series the second books before the first ones). It scared me and made me think. This was not my normal image of what a unicorn was and a female lead was quite new to me, especially one that saves herself. When
This would be the downturn in a trilogy, the one where everything you thought was good and pure about the first book becomes its opposite, the one where our heroine has to do some hefty soul searching, the one where Vader tells you that he's your father. (Ok, he doesn't but you know where we're at now.) There's a lot of stifling inaction and festering passivity, which is less fun to read compared to the first book, but hey, that's how these plots work themselves out sometimes. The payoff comes i ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I was really impressed by Black Unicorn, the first book in this trilogy. I had completely forgotten that there were sequel books, until I looked it up again with plans to reread it. So of course I ran to the library and snatched this one up.

It has every bit the magic and color of the first book. I am usually pretty slow to get through books (on account of not having much time to read), but I blitzed through this in a weekend. I just could not put it down. I can't wait to read the final book!
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't like this book as much as the first one. It got pretty dark and sad. That being said, it brought up interesting ideas about what to do with a fundamentally flawed world and how to make peace with your place in it.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not as strong as The Black Unicorn, but still the unique fantasy imaginings of Tanith Lee. This story is a nice complement to the first, continuing a thread around the problem of drawing the lines of good and evil.
Elizabeth Oluwole
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Without giving it away, I think this book has the most eye-popping scene of the three. I don't even need to say where it is; you'll know it when you read it.

Not as whimsical as the first or heart-wrenching as the third, but still entertaining.
Sandra Visser
Journeying across different lands, the young mender Tanaquil and her quarrelsome talking familiar learn of the Empress Veriam, and her insatiable desire to expand her domain by conquest. Tanaquil is shocked to learn that the woman called “Conqueror” and “Child Eater” is in fact her half-sister, Lizra.

Remembering the powerful effect the black unicorn had on her people, Lizra has constructed a tremendous mechanical unicorn of gold as a symbol of her power.

The only problem is that it doesn’t work
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, children-ya
Having completed her trip to see the world, Tanaquil is en route home when she meets an army led by empress Variam, known as Child-Eater among other names. She discovers that the empress is her sister, Lizra, who has decided to conquer the world and make it a perfect place to live. As part of this effort, she has had her artisans create and build a gold unicorn, a horrifying war machine to frighten populations into submission. However, the mechanical unicorn doesn't move and Tanaquil repairs it. ...more
Oct 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was the sequel to Black unicorn. The series is intended for a young adult audience, and it does show. The book is a fairly uncomplicated story of a young girl coming of age and how she deals with her own burgeoning power, not to mention her interpersonal relationships with her family. The main character, Tanaquil is an adolescent who is learning about her powers as a sorceress, as well as about her family. She was raised by her mother and discovered her father and sister in the last book. T ...more
Leila Anani
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, tanith-lee
The second volume of Lee's Unicorn series. Fantasy at its finiest this imagintive series is on a par with Pullman's His Dark Materials. Tanaquil helps her half-sister build a war machine; a giant mechanical unicorn and aid her quest in world donimation. She stays not because she supports her sister but because she's falling in love with her sister's boyfriend Honj. They all get transported into a hell dimension where Lizra learns meets the emperor of war and learns the error of her ways.

Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm rereading this series that I read in high school because I remembered liking them, but I couldn't remember what they were about, exactly. A fresh read-through brings to mind why this is - the first book was okay, but this one is kind of boring, unfortunately. There's too much buildup and not enough action, and the characters don't find a lot of internal development through the story; new characters are introduced, but that's about the extent of the excitement. I'm hopeful for the third book ...more
Another solid addition to Lee's Unicorn series. This one had quite a different feel from Black Unicorn. While the first novel was focused on Tanaquil's discovering her past and her talents away from home, its sequel focused heavily on war. And while we had some of the same characters, there was just a very different feel in this book, especially with the journey to the warring Other World. Anyway, it was a good read and I'm happy to find this series just as good as I remember it being when I rea ...more
April Brown
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
What ages would I recommend it too? Twelve and up.

Length? Several days.

Characters? Memorable, several characters.

Setting? Fantasy, alternate dimensions.

Written approximately? 1994.

Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? Ready to read more.

Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? No.

Short storyline: Tanaquil's journeys.

Notes for the reader: Something about this novel was off. To avoid a spoiler, one part, Tanaquil should have picked up on, and didn't. Maybe th
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
After loving Black Unicorn, I rushed to the library to pick up this sequel. It was not nearly as good. Still really easy to read and I think it only took me two nights, but I had this vaguely uncomfortable feeling that the author kept suffering from writer's block and just put words down on a page to see how they looked. With lots of periods. Then didn't want to rewrite it when she accidentally got to the end. I think I'll still get Red Unicorn - the third and final book in this series - because ...more
It's been years since I read this and I can still remember how conflicted Tanaquil felt about so many things throughout the book - her sister, love, power, loyalty. It was wonderfully painful to experience through her. I think what I loved the most was the decisions she ultimately made about all of those dilemmas. I sympathized with her a great deal because I knew I would make very similar decisions. She held true to what she felt was right - even when it hurt. However, I would have loved it les ...more
Melissa Bennett
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I felt this book was much better than the first one. It kept me reading because I just had to know how it turned out. This book finds Tanaquil still journeying. She ends up meeting with her half sister and finds she is not the same girl that she knew. From there she sees battles, a new world and a love she cannot claim.
Apr 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2010
Any hardcore unicorn fans like myself - take note: this is not about unicorns. Read the black unicorn and skip this one. This is like a crappy movie sequel that makes you regret spending money (or time, in this case) on something not worth the trouble whatsoever. The only revealing quality was the peeve. I'm hoping the last one will be better..
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Although i really love Lee's writing, i found myself struggling through the last 50 pages. it's a nice very imaginative book, but all the way through it i had a feeling something was missing. i couldn't figure out what exactly. maybe it's all about the mood. anyway, all in all the book is pretty nice, and i think i will pick up the third part of the trilogy in a few days.
Mar 14, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youngadult
Unfortunately, this book is definitely one of those that can only be read by younger folk. Some of my favorite books that I read as a child fall into this category (Patricia C Wrede's Dragons series, stuff by Lloyd Alexander) where I can only treasure them in my memories, so this book may in fact be very good. I just can't tell anymore.
Jennifer Rose
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
I thought that the plot still moved slowly in this continuation but reading was still worth the time. While the whole of the story was smooth and no real jumps in the telling of the plot there were things that were thrown in just because. But if you enjoyed the first book you will enjoy the second.
Samma Lynne
Jun 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Torn between 3 and 3.5, so I'm going with a 3 for now.

Sometimes the narrative style feels lyrical, and sometimes it feels disjointed and broken. Sometimes it made wonderful sense, sometimes I had no idea what was going on. Suuuuch a cliffhanger ending! Guess I'm definitely reading the last book in the series. I do really love the treatment of utopia and dystopia in this series.
This book really surprised me! I thought I wasn't going to like it, but figured it was time to get it off my shelf, but once I started it I couldn't put it down. I loved the plot and I thought the action was great, I just didn't like how passive Tanaquil seemed and I thought the love triangle thing was forced and made no sense. But other than that it was surprisingly good!
Amanda Surowitz
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book has a wonderfully chilling perspective on war. Through the magic and the mechanics, Tanaquil enters a hell-world, seeing the darkness that is conquest. Despite her sister’s war, she also finds love with a mercenary captain her sister favors. Of all the stories of forcing another person to open their eyes to the destruction they leave in their wake, this is among my favorite.
Nov 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I liked the first book better, this book had a bit of a slower pace and the main character just kind of floated through the events in a very passive manner. Some fun parts however most of it felt like it went on too long with out much action. Glad to have read it, but not endearing like book 1.
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked reading the further adventures of Tanaquil and Peeve. I liked seeing her reclaim respect for her world compared to the hellish world she goes to. She stops comparing the perfect world to her world. But I I can't wait to read Red Unicorn to find out what becomes of her, Lizra, and Honj.
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think this was a bit better than the first but still has remnants of Lee telling rather than showing. I was able to connect to the character better, but it's still hard to get past her sarcastic and belittling attitude.
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Tanith Lee was a British writer of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. She was the author of 77 novels, 14 collections, and almost 300 short stories. She also wrote four radio plays broadcast by the BBC and two scripts for the UK, science fiction, cult television series "Blake's 7."
Before becoming a full time writer, Lee worked as a file clerk, an assistant librarian, a shop assistant, and a wai
More about Tanith Lee...

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Unicorn (3 books)
  • Black Unicorn (Unicorn, #1)
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