Book Cover
Title The Unicorn and the Lake
Series ---
Author Marianna Mayer
Cover Art Michael Hague
Illustrations Michael Hague
Publisher Children's Book of the Month Club - 2005
First Printing Dial Books - 1982
Category Children
Warnings None

Main Characters


Main Elements Unicorns

Beautiful, noble, and pure, the unicorn had long fascinated poets and artists. Did such a creature exist? Why has its legend persisted through history? In this compelling tale, inspired by the Unicorn Tapestries and based on pagan and medieval folk beliefs, Marianna Mayer places the unicorn in its magical, ancient context. Here the unicorn's horn has the power to dispel poison, and the unicorn's presence confers upon the forest animals the gift of a common language. Among them only the venomous serpent opposes the unicorn. As these two legendary creatures meet in battle, the survival of the entire animal kingdom hangs in the balance.

Michael Hague's rich, dramatic paintings brilliantly capture the beauty of the unicorn and convey the mythic power of the tale.

I was 28 when I read this book for the first time. Now, before you think that I've suddenly regressed into my childhood one should keep in mind that I am a fan of Michael Hague's work. I think he does a wonderful job catching the magic of the unicorn. A unicorn may be an equine-like creature with a horn, but it is not a horse with a horn. It has cloven hooves, a beard, a lion's tail, and its physical form is almost more that of a deer than a horse. Hague makes the unicorn appear more than just a white horse. He makes it a creature all its own. Ancient, wise and pure. This is what I knew before I bought the book.

After I'd read the book, I found that Marianna Mayer also had the power to capture the unicorn, only this time in words. A beautiful tale based on unicorn lore and the Unicorn Tapestries. I can see why Marianna Mayer and Michael Hague were described as "the award-winning team", together they weave a beautiful thing. I felt I missed out on this book during my childhood, that I would have loved having it read to me at night. If you have children of your own, I highly recommend making them a gift of this book. I'm sure it is something they'll want read to them over-and-over again. And I suspect that you won't mind doing that one bit.

Posted: July 2006


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