Goodreads: The Unicorn Quest
Series: The Unicorn Quest #1
Published: Feb. 2018
When Claire and Sophie Martinson move into old Windermere Manor and discover a ladder that leads through the chimney to an enchanted world, Sophie tries to convince Claire that it was all a dream. But then Sophie disappears in the middle of the night and Claire knows she can no longer ignore the truth. Climbing up through the fireplace, she finds herself in a world where unicorn artifacts strengthen the magic of the four guilds. But the Unicorn Harp has gone missing and Sophie seems to be the thief. Can Claire solve the mystery in time or will she and Sophie both end up dead?
The Unicorn Quest feels either like an old friend, or a rehash of a number of classic children’s fantasy novels, depending on the perspective of the reader. A plethora of familiar elements compose the plot, from the secret passage hidden in an inherited family mansion to the entry into a magical world to the quest to find a missing family member and discover the true royal heir (no prizes for who that heir is). Younger readers not as familiar with children’s fantasy may find all this a delight. Older readers will instantly recognize a hodgepodge of other books and be able to predict the entire plot of the story without even trying. Still there is something admittedly charming about The Unicorn Quest, perhaps because it feels safe and comfortable to curl up with a book who feels so intimately known from the start.
Writing a review for The Unicorn Quest, however, feels unusually challenging. Perhaps readers can recall Bruce Coville’s The Land of the Unicorns, C. S. Lewis’s Narnia, and William Corlett’s The Steps Up the Chimney. The book feels like a smash up of those, along with hints of some other titles like Susan Cooper’s Under Sea, Under Stone–basically any of those “children move to a mysterious house and find an ancient mystery hidden in it” books. That being said, I feel like I have nothing to say about The Unicorn Quest because I must have said it when reviewing any of these other numerous books.
I suspect readers will generally be enthusiastic about The Unicorn Quest. Readers always enjoy a good fantasy world hidden in an old home. It gives us hope that we will find our own magical passage if only we keep looking. And so my review comes down to this: If these types of children’s fantasies are your cup of tea, here’s another one to enjoy.