The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle is a fantasy classic, and I am glad I got around to reading the little gem. It tells the simple yet lovely story of a unicorn venturing forth from her woods in search of her missing comrades. A long the way, she meets an assortment of unique characters, from a wizard named Schmendrick to a fiery woman named Molly Grue. Throw in lots of magic, robin hood references, and a insane king, and you have one interesting ride.
The writing is simply amazing. It is lush and poetic, suffused with the exact kind of magic that makes fantasy worthwhile. It is also filled with witty, irreverent jabs of humor that will have you chuckling as you read.
The story feels very much like a fairytale, and Beagle is skilled enough to draw you effortlessly in. Indeed, it felt very much like an old fable, and I enjoyed every minute of it. All is not fun and games, however, as The Last Unicorn is filled with a beautiful melancholy atmosphere which is truly hard to describe.
It plays effortlessly with fairytale cliches, managing to spin them into something both amusing and believable. While the pace is slow and almost delicate, it fits perfectly with the overall tone of the novel--though If you are looking for cheap thrills, I suggest you look elsewhere. For the fantasy lover or simply the avid reader, The Last Unicorn is a book that is sure to delight.