Nobody knew where it had come from, or what it wanted. Not even Jaive, the sorceress, could fathom the mystery of the fabled beast. But Tanaquil, Jaive’s completely unmagical daughter, understood it at once. She knew why the unicorn was there: It had come for her. It needed her. Tanaquil was amazed because she was the girl with no talent for magic. She could only fiddle with broken bits of machinery and make them work again. What could she do for a unicorn?
Tanaquil is a young girl, completely unmagical, who doesn’t get on with her mother. She brings to life a unicorn that takes her on an adventure away from the home she has outgrown.
It sounds like just another YA story but The Black Unicorn really doesn’t feel like a YA story. That, I feel, is due to it being written by Tanith Lee who brings a sense of intelligence and maturity to everything that she writes.
And there is nothing childish about this unicorn, magical and scary, this unicorn is fierce. You would not want to get on the wrong side of it!
It can be read as a coming of age story, Tanaquil matures a huge amount through the story and has to make some very mature and hard decisions by the end. Or it could just be a magical adventure story if you wanted it to be. As a main character, I thought she was fab – sensible and down to earth and just very normal.
This is one that I will be holding on to for future re-reads.
I recommend this to anyone that enjoys fantasy and adventure stories, it’s a YA story that really doesn’t feel like a YA story.