I did not read this until now, and I typically am not very enthusiastic about young middle-grade books that I read for the first time as an adult. I love YA and the occasional sophisticated and older-aimed middle-grade novel, but books I would have adored when I was nine are often lost to me now. This one was typical: I can tell that I would have been all over it when I was eight or nine, but its charms to me now were noted more than felt.

When Cara and her grandmother are chased by a mysterious man, Cara follows her grandmother’s instructions and leaps from the top of a bell tower on the stroke of twelve, clutching an amulet containing a strand of unicorn hair and calling, “Luster, bring me home!”

She falls into the land of the unicorns, where she meets with the usual sort of adventures and magical creatures (including one of the most annoying cute sidekicks ever: “Yowee hotcha yipes!” squeaked the Squijum, vaulting on to Lightfoot’s back. “Big eater make me supper gone gone good yipe now!”), and learns that she is intimately connected with the ongoing battle between the unicorns and the hunters. While the usual adventures, etc, were too young to thrill me, the poetic origin story for the war and the predictable but pleasingly angsty revelation about Cara’s family were more my style.

I have heard that this series ages up as it goes along. Is that right? Do later books get more complex/dark/sophisticated?

Into The Land Of The Unicorns (Unicorn Chronicles)
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