Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Found it. Found a *bone.*"
This book was an often-reread part of my childhood, a cherished favorite. When I heard the sad news that Tanith Lee had died, I knew I had to return to it and read it again.
The Black Unicorn is a delight, swift reading despite its poetic turns. (Look back at most of the descriptions, and you'll find that there is little concrete detail: instead, Lee uses words to create an emotion that compels the reader to fill in the blanks. It's gifted wordsmithing.) The book has a deep magical sensibility that permeates the story without ever feeling overblown. It is witty, wry and tongue-in-cheek in the way that only reality can be. The characters are sometimes odd and almost absurd in exactly the way people are. And I love the peeve - a perfect companion animal with all the mischief it causes.
The only reason this book doesn't get full stars from me is that it still does read as a childhood book; it is perhaps ideally suited for those a little younger than the main character (fifteen or so). There a few places where things seem odd, implausible or young to an adult reader, but I still very much enjoyed my return to it.
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