Book Cover
Title Black Unicorn
Author Tanith Lee
Cover Art Dennis Nolan
Publisher Tom Doherty Associates (Tor) - 1991
First Printing ---
Book Cover
Title Gold Unicorn
Author Tanith Lee
Cover Art Mark Zug
Publisher Tom Doherty Associates (Tor) - 1996
First Printing Byron Preiss - 1994
Book Cover
Title Red Unicorn
Author Tanith Lee
Cover Art Daniel Dos Santos
Publisher Tom Doherty Associates (Starscape) - 2003
First Printing Byron Preiss - 1997
Category General
Warnings None
Main Characters Tanaquil, the Peeve, Lizra Veriam, Honj
Main Elements Unicorns, Sorceress

Click to read the summaryBlack Unicorn

Click to read the summaryGold Unicorn

Click to read the summaryRed Unicorn

I'll have to admit this isn't my favorite book. Neither the storyline nor the characters really grabbed and pulled me into the story. That said, I still suggest you make your way down to the local library just to read the way Tanith Lee described the unicorn.

"In the night, night passed down the street.... She felt the terror of it, the magic, and the impossibility that it should be there or that she should go to it.
"What do you want?"
But the unicorn only moved through the village like the wind, silent, without music.

And of course, I'm partial to the peeve. Some people might find him annoying, I thought he was cute.

Well, now it is September 2009. It took me that long to find a copy of Gold Unicorn, though I had Red Unicorn for some time. I had to admit, the only thing I really remembered from the first book was the unicorn and the peeve, which as you can see by my review from 7 years ago, those were the parts I liked best.

I think what I didn't realize the first time around was that they were for younger readers, Red Unicorn being suggested for ages 10 and up. But even viewing them that way, I still didn't care that much for the series, though I had to admit that as it only took a couple days to read each one, I didn't mind, it was a nice break from the really deep and heavy series I was reading before it.

When I saw that the gold unicorn wasn't even a real unicorn, I was sort of disappointed, but in truth, when it gets going, it's a pretty cool unicorn. Once again, the lovely descriptions of characters and places saved the day...though where Lee comes up with those characters names I don't know...

"Out into an island of darkness under the fire of the moon, they careered, and came together with a blast of metal, heat, and tumult.
They were rearing up. The horns locking, the forefeet smiting. Unicorns made of gold fighting in the valley of hell."

Red Unicorn in my mind got a little sappy. You know the kind of thing where you see yourself through the eyes of others and then a unicorn sweeps you off your feet, you reconcile with your other half, and the world just falls into place. On the other hand, it had the Rot-Chair Race...where people put wheels on rotting chairs and hitch them up to drunk horses. There were moments in this book that were just deliciously bizarre.

So while each book might be worth a trip to the library, I suspect younger readers might enjoy them more than my crotchety 30-year old self.

Posted: January 2002


Background, images and content (unless otherwise noted) are SunBlind
Do not use without permission.