Told in the perspective of the last unicorn left on earth, Beagle introduces us to characters that are all looking for something, whether they know it or not. The unicorn is looking for her kin, the magician is looking for real magic and a way to change his fate, and Molly Grue is looking for some magic herself. Battling many obstacles on the journey, Molly, Schmendrick the magician, and the unicorn, who is later turned into the Lady Amalthea by Schmendrick, have to face their biggest obstacle in the form of the Red Bull. To me, the Red Bull was more than just a representative of fear but of ones own desires and how they can hinder and trap us where we are. It’s not enough to just desire something to make it real. Desire and happiness involve sacrifice and pain. Now I won’t go all literary on you guys but this book was an English major’s dream. There is so much in it that is up to interpretation. So much to think about and debate over. On the surface The Last Unicorn appears to be a simple fairy tale but it develops into a conversation about life, hope, and redemption.
If you read the last post you know I had high hopes for this book before I even opened the cover and let me say it definitely lived up to those expectations. The Last Unicorn is a wonderful and hilarious pastiche of 1960s culture, Grimm’s fairy tales, with a splash of Monty Python for flavor. Beagle transports you right into this world of magic, unicorns, princes, and princesses but diverts the genre by giving animals and humans alike real voices from his own time. The butterfly in the first few scenes is hilarious and reminds me of your typical 1960s flower child. It’s almost like watching an episode of The Mod Squad as told by a butterfly to a unicorn.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story and a little humor. It is so much more than a fantasy story about a unicorn.
Final rating: 5/5
Stay tuned of the next installment in Book Battle 2015.