K.D. Absolutely's Reviews > The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it
bookshelves: 501, childrens, fantasy
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Children's)

Magical. One of the best children's fantasy books that I've ever read. The prose is as enchanting as the unicorn. Everytime the unicorn appears, thinks and speaks, I am thrown out of this world. Peter Beagle (born 1939) is a scintillating American author and he's got a equally dazzling character to mark his place in this literary world - none other than what people say as a legendary yet fictional animal, the most important imaginary animal of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance - the unicorn.

However, Beagle did not stick to the unicorn as depicted in those bygone era of Middle Ages and Renaissance nor he used the unicorn as mentioned several times in the Holy Bible. Here, the unicorn can be turned into a beautiful lady, Amalthea that is also the name of a Greek deity. Amalthea has a love interest, Prince Lir, who is actually an adopted son of the King who captures all the other unicorns and Amalthea would like to free them back to the forest.

That in essence is what this book is all about. I withhold the other characters and events so I will not spoil the fun of those who are still planning to read this. Trust me, though, that this is not your typical children's book because the prose is too beautiful for toddlers to appreciate. If James Thurber's "13 Clocks" is too dark, this one of Peter S. Beagle, "The Last Unicorn" is too beautiful for the simplistic minds of children, especially small children. However, it is not as complex as let's say, J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings." Nothing can compare to that book. This unicorn book is great but there is just nothing that compares to LOTR. No debates, please.

I am glad I finally gave time for this book. My weekend yesterday became my best alone-in-the-house-weekend because of this book. My wife and daughter were busy buying Christmas gifts and I was there sitting on the easy chair in the living room devouring this book about some far away ancient palace with an evil king and a beautiful unicorn-turn-lady-turn-unicorn-again Amalthea. Beautiful prose. Easy to read yet scintillates in its beauty. I could almost hear the gallops, the forest,the wind and the mystical bells every time the unicorn appears and moves. Unforgettable fantasy book. Just unforgettable. Wow.
32 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Last Unicorn.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

November 3, 2011 – Shelved
December 14, 2012 – Started Reading
December 15, 2012 – Shelved as: childrens
December 15, 2012 – Shelved as: 501
December 15, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy
December 15, 2012 –
page 55
18.71% "After the unicorn's capture, he is back into the forest. Together with the wizard. I am enjoying this book. Easy read and full of vivid descriptions of its settings."
December 16, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by ♥Nica♥ (new) - added it

♥Nica♥ actual book?

K.D. Absolutely Of course. This book's been with me for 1 year already. It is starting to yellow and so I decided to pick this up just this morning. I am enjoying it.

message 3: by Thea (new)

Thea Guanzon I love this book.

"Real magic can never be made by offering up someone else's liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back. The true witches know that."

K.D. Absolutely Yes, I remember that part.
Though the unicorn did not really make all those powers that are in the Medieval unicorn. Also, according to legend, the Medieval unicorn can only be captured (through entrapment) by a virgin. Looks like Amalthea here is the virgin on top of being the unicorn.

Also, the opening scene reminded me of that big mammal in Ice Age. Thinking and wondering where are the other likes of him.

Is there really a unicorn? If you check the Holy Bible, there are so many times, unicorn is mentioned.

K.D. Absolutely I think I am a minority because I felt that there is so much darkness in the book that it may not even be suitable for MG. But that's me. I felt reading something similar to "In Watermelon Sugar" by Richard Brautigan. I also felt that it is a lot darker than Pinocchio or Heidi :) But again, this is me. :)

message 6: by ♥Nica♥ (new) - added it

♥Nica♥ K.D. wrote: "Of course. This book's been with me for 1 year already. It is starting to yellow and so I decided to pick this up just this morning. I am enjoying it."

I love the movie (saw it as a child) and am looking forward to buying the book. Sadly, the book's a bit pricey... :(

K.D. Absolutely Maya, I can lend you my copy. Just don't know how. I have not seen the movie yet. Do you have a copy?

message 8: by Arah-Lynda (new) - added it

Arah-Lynda And an unforgetable review as well. Bravo!

K.D. Absolutely Thank you, Arah-Lynda.

back to top