The author of The Last Unicorn presents a series of lyrical short stories, containing many new and previously uncollected works. Easily nine-tenths of this book consists of 5-star stories that will hold you fast and infuse your imagination. With a well-known wizard, three flavors of unicorns, fire-breathing cannibal dragons, a troll, and judges and scholars and queens and beggars, these tales are diverse in tone and subject matter, but all are pure enchantment!

My absolute favorites include –

  • The Story of Kao Yu is a heartbreaking tale of longing in which an honorable judge falls in love with a thief, and a unicorn passes judgement.
  • The Queen Who Could Not Walk is a tale of forgiveness with a surprising twist, in which crippled queen is an inferior beggar, until a new companion insists on helping.
  • Trinity County, CA: You’ll Want to Come Again and We’ll Be Glad to See you! is an exhilarating buddy story in which two county animal-control officers track down illegally trafficked dragons!
  • The Way It Works Out and All is a suspenseful tale of discovery and exploration in which two old friends attempt to navigate the Overneath, a series of passageways to anywhere.
  • Underbridge is pure tragedy, in which things go from bad to worse for an unlucky scholar of children’s books who takes a temporary teaching position and visits the Freemont troll.
  • The Very Nasty Aquarium is a resourceful tale of courage in which two old ladies fight an evil spirit that has taken over one of their aquariums! I have a soft spot for elderly protagonists, and this story was sheer delight.

The beginning of each short story includes brief commentary from the author, which not only provides insights into the story it proceeds, but are so genuine that they seem to give a glimpse into the humble mind of the author, who claims that his stories decide not only when to write themselves, but also what happens, as if he has no part in the matter.

Recommended for all fans of fantasy that’s full of wonder and charm and magic!

Thanks to Tachyon Publications and Netgalley for an advance reader copy!