“The next morning dawned bright and clear. Hundreds of birds greeted the rising sun with song, each one trying to out-sing the other. Circling the patch of ground where the party slept were tracks. A visitor in the night had watched over them while they slept. The tracks were hoof prints.”
I got this book free for my Kindle on Amazon, so I went into it being quite critical, expecting it to be not nearly as good as it was. The Thirteenth Unicorn is a really nice fantasy story, full of adventure and magical creatures. Although clearly a middle grade book, the writing was surprisingly decent. However, there are a number of grammar and spellings errors, including the author never putting a comma before the word ’too’ at the end of a sentence, which bugged me a lot.
“And yet the most striking features about these men was their eyes; keen and stern, chips of blue ice burning like lamps in the gray morning light. These were elves from the Twilight.”
The length and pace of the story is perfect, not too fast, nor did it drag at any point. Aside from a quick chapter near the end, I did not get bored with the plot or its pace. It remained consistent for the most part. The ending, although predictable, was spoiled by a very sudden reveal, which I think should have been incorporated into the story, which would have made it more satisfying.
“The sky was beginning to darken to a deep purple and a couple of stars had opened their eyes to catch a glimpse of the final minutes of this last day of May, as Ben and Casey, with their two new friends, made their way back up the trail to the Langston’s backyard. New friendships had been forged this day and as the sunlight faded, so too did all thoughts of Camelot and the mysterious Merlin Tree.”
The characters, both major and minor, were enjoyable to read about. Ben and Casey, who the story is first about, are well fleshed out, unlike some of the others. Ben is a cool and quirky kid, up for anything, but always level-headed. Casey is his caring, though sometimes annoying, older sister. Their grandparents are very stereotypical county folk; although their grandmother, Louise, also reveals an adventurous side when she embarks on this story’s awesome adventure with the kids. Ben and Casey’s companions, Joey and Jenny, unfortunately have little to no voice in this story. They are simply there in the adventure. They are barely described and show no signs of personality. Aside from saying that she wants to go home, Jenny has virtually no lines. The group was always regarded as a whole, which gave no room to showcase either of them. The dwarf characters, Hob, Nob and Gob, were entertaining and comical, making the book that much more enjoyable. The world itself was also exciting to read about. The Twilight, which is the magical, forbidden wood in which the elves live, is described as being able to make itself smaller and bigger, constantly changing itself, which is a unique magical attribute.
“Home,” Ben whispered. There was more magic in that one word than existed in all of Camelot; Home.”
Although the cover and the writing errors are a bit of a turn-off, getting this story for free was an absolute steal. It was very enjoyable, and I’m tempted to buy the next book in this series. It was a great adventure, with a sweet ending, and I am glad to have taken my time to check it out.