This story reminded me a lot of fairy-tale inspired books that I read as a child. It’s clever, not at all condescending, and has an old-fashioned charm – mixed with a few modern twists.
The monks of a certain monastery have long been resigned to the fact that once every year, they’re visited by a migrating herd of unicorns that ravenously chomp up all their golden apples. After all, they’ve got plenty of red and green apples to use for snacking and baking.
However, when a new abbot arrives, with a special recipe for making cider from golden apples, he’s determined that things will change. Heroic (literally) efforts are expended toward saving the apples from the pesky unicorns – all in vain.
Meanwhile an annoyingly curious young ducal heir has used up nearly all the patience the residents of his family’s castle have to spare. His older sister, Alexandria, is the only one who still bothers to answer his incessant questions. When he’s sent to study at the monastery, a solution to the plague of unicorns may finally present itself…
The short novel is a quick read. It’s aimed at middle-grade readers, but I felt that the writing style and the humor is such that it will be enjoyed equally by fantasy and fairy tale fans of all ages.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Zonderkids for the opportunity to read this book. As always, my opinions are solely my own.