A Blessing of Unicorns: My Top Nine Literary Unicorns
Unicorns come in all shapes and sizes, live in the sea or on land, in our world, in mythical kingdoms, or both–and I love them all! When writing a book called THE UNICORN QUEST, you get to learn many fun things, like that the horn of a unicorn is technically called an alicorn and that a group of unicorns is not a herd, but a blessing. So with that in mind, I’ve collected my own blessing of unicorns – my nine favorite unicorns from books I love.
- Kelp—Not Quite Narhwal by Jessie Sima
First up is Kelp, the unicorn with an identity crisis! Little Kelp lives in the sea with all the other narwhals, but one day he sees a bunch of land narwhals who tell him that they’re not narwhals at all, they’re unicorns—and so is he. I love Kelp’s intrepid spirit and his cute little helmet around his cute little equine head that allows him to breathe underwater. Did I mention he’s cute? My fingers are crossed that there will be a sequel where he discovers a herd of rhinoceros and asks them to join his family of narwhals and unicorns!
- Jewel – The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
Noble, courageous, and brave until the very literal end of the world, Jewel is an example of your quintessential unicorn. Though he’s a bit stiff at times (“stodgey,” as the Brits might say), once all of Narnia has collapsed, he’s able to let down his mane and have some fun with King Tirian as they swim up a waterfall. Which leads me to another unicorn advisor…
- Arden – The Jewel Kingdom series by Jahnna N. Malcolm
This chapter book series follows the adventures of four royal sisters: the Ruby Princess, the Diamond Princess, the Sapphire Princess and the Emerald princess. Each of them had their own animal advisor to council them, but the Emerald Princess had the best: Arden the unicorn. In my opinion, the mischievous and somewhat bratty Emerald Princess didn’t deserve the wonderfully patient Arden, so I decided to memorialize her in my own book. When my main characters, sisters Claire and Sophie, discover a ladder in the fireplace and climb up it, they find themselves in a magical world named…Arden.
- Amalia Flickerfoot –Unicorn Chronicles by Bruce Coville
Amalia Flickerfoot is the long lost princess of the unicorns who loves to wander and has a particular interest in humankind. The quest to find Amalia Flickerfoot is one of the most satisfying, surprising, and magical journeys I’ve ever read, and I’d never want to ruin the surprise by saying too much here! Though the first book published in 1994 and the final book published in 2010 – 16 years later! – the wait was completely worth it.
- Unknown, The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
This enchanting British classic, though not as well known in North America, is one of J.K. Rowling’s favorite childhood books—and mine, too. This unicorn has no name, but is a legend that dances on the edge of Moonacre Estate and can only be caught in glimpses. This unamed unicorn perfectly captures a fantasy lover’s hope that maybe—just maybe!— the moonlight between the trees is more than moonlight.
- Toby – The Unicorns of Balinor by Mary Stanton
In a series where there are three different kinds of unicorns, a magical unicorn scepter, and the prettiest covers I’ve ever seen in my entire life, Toby is my favorite unicorn of all. Though he’s one of the most powerful unicorns, he’s more pony-sized than the others and has an ATTITUDE. Unlike the other unicorns, he doesn’t worry about adhering to the typical expectations of his herd and is fond of making rude “blaaaat” noises through his horn. (Which, up until this moment, I never thought about how one would do that.) Speaking of unicorns with an attitude…
- Marigold Heavenly Nostrils– Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson
Vein, sarcastic, and oh-so-lovable, the very first time we meet Marigold is after she’s been hit by a skipping rock because, “I was trapped by my own reflection. I’m so beautiful, that when I see myself, I cannot look away, sometimes for days.” She’s a modern unicorn, and can send text messages and broadcast a Wi-Fi hotspot through her horn—so convenient!
- Gaudior, A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle
His name meaning, “more joy,” in Latin, Gaudior shows up on the lawn of the Murray family’s house on the eve of nuclear war to take Charles Wallace on a quest through time to save the world. Gaudior and his kin, the time-traveling unicorns, are some of the most imaginative unicorns in literature. Not only does Guadior have the ability to fly through time and visit multiple parallel worlds, he was also hatched from an egg, drinks moonlight, and eats moonsicles.
And to round out my blessing of unicorns, not the least, but certainly last:
… 1. Amalthea, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
“She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam, but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night. But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea’.”
This is a perfect sentence. A unicorn of a sentence. I can only imagine that a unicorn is as soft and glorious as these words—and thus, the perfect unicorn to end on.
*~~About the Author~~*
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to check out another enchantingly epic #EE18ers post! 😉