Book Review: Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee

by Alaena Hope [July 31, 2022]

I absolutely loved the descriptions in this book. For me, they evoked vivid and magical images that made me want to draw.

Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee centers around the daughter of a powerful sorceress who, though she has no talent for magic, is extremely skilled at fixing things. As her mother’s castle is situated in the middle of a desert, and there is only so much stuff that needs to be fixed (especially since everything she fixes ends up working better than it did before), she is left with a great deal of time during which she has to find ways to entertain herself. As such, she is excited when she discovers a truly peculiar set of bones in the desert—bones that must have once belonged to a unicorn. She sets out to piece the skeleton back together. However, things take a turn for the weird when the unicorn suddenly comes to life, and she finds herself compelled to chase it through the desert and into foreign lands. She comes upon a clockwork city, meets an oddly familiar princess, and uncovers the truth behind the unicorn and her strange connection to it.

In essence, this is a story about learning to appreciate yourself, the people in your life, and the world around you by teaching yourself to see their virtues instead of focusing on all their flaws. Over all, I found it to be fun and beautifully written, though there are a lot of surreal moments and a kind of fairytale feel to the style that may not be for everyone.