Upon learning that she may be the last of her kind in all the world, Peter S. Beagle’s titular and nameless unicorn sets out from her enchanted lilac wood to discover what the monstrous Red Bull has done to her immortal kin. With the help of Schmendrick, an inept magician, and Molly Grue, a rugged yet kindhearted Maid Marian figure, the unicorn journeys to the kingdom of the callous King Haggard, who bade the Red Bull imprison the unicorns in the sea outside his castle. The book’s charm lies in the ways it defies fantasy convention. In this cult classic, written in lyrical prose and rife with both whimsical humor and philosophical ruminations on what it means to be human, Beagle spins a quasi-medieval fairy tale that remains timeless. —Megan McCluskey
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