Thursday, June 23, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

4 Stars: A Great Read
Hardcover : 159 Pages
Publication: January 25, 2011 by Idea & Design Works LLC

Whimsical. Lyrical. Poignant. Adapted for the first time from the acclaimed and beloved novel by Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn is a tale for any age about the wonders of magic, the power of love, and the tragedy of loss. The unicorn, alone in her enchanted wood, discovers that she may be the last of her kind. Reluctant at first, she sets out on a journey to find her fellow unicorns, even if it means facing the terrifying anger of the Red Bull and malignant evil of the king who wields his power.

Adapted by Peter B. Gillis and illustrated by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon.

The Last Unicorn is a classic tale that pits nature against man and good against evil. I first watched the film adaptation of The Last Unicorn this past year and fell in love with the story. The story follows the last unicorn left as she leaves her forest home in search of the rest of the unicorns. As she journeys across the land, she finds out that not only are the unicorns gone, man has stopped believing in unicorns. Along the way, she meets a wizard who has trouble getting spells to do what he asks of them, a woman who still believes in magic, and a prince who tugs at her heart.

The graphic novel edition is illustrated in the same style as the film adaptation of The Last Unicorn. The vivid, colorful illustrations accurately capture the magical and fantastical nature of the setting and bring the characters to life while giving insight into the characters’ thoughts, something that is hard to work into a film.

As the illustrations provide for the setting and action, the language is simple and limited to context and dialogue, and so young children will be able to read it as well. I’m so excited about this because it is definitely a story that everyone should read. It conveys so many important messages to the reader.

The unicorn possesses a strong spirit within a soft and amiable demeanor and will capture your heart from the first pages. Readers will cry for her as she learns the state of the world and what comes upon humans when they forget the power of faith. And again when a well-meaning magic spell goes awry and threatens to tear away her identity, forcing her to learn the heartache of a human’s heart.

"I have been mortal, and some part of me is mortal yet.
I am full of tears and hunger and the fear of death,
although I cannot weep, and I want nothing, and I cannot die.
I am not like the others now, for no unicorn was ever 
born who could regret, but I do. 
I regret." 

A poignant tale of love, loss, and magic, The Last Unicorn incorporates themes such as the consequences of greed, the importance of faith, and the need to respect nature. It is also a story of love and knowing when to let go. If you loved the film, you’ll enjoy reading the graphic novel edition. If you loved the book, you’ll adore the gorgeous illustrations in the graphic novel edition. And if you haven’t heard of The Last Unicorn, you should definitely pick up a copy of this! The Last Unicorn will relate to people of all ages and is a read that I strongly recommend.

"As for you and your heart and the things you said and didn't say,
she will remember them all when
men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits."

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View my favorite quotations from The Last Unicorn
A copy was provided for review by the publisher.
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4 comments:

  1. Ooh, I just got a copy of the novel, I didn't realise there was a graphic novel, too! I grew up loving the movie so I can't wait to read the book.

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  2. I loved this movies. One of my faves when I was growning up!

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  3. Same here. I really enjoyed watching the movie and reading the graphic novel. I can't wait to read the original novel itself!!

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  4. I have never read this book but I loved the movie when I was younger, in fact I own it on DVD now. I just may have to read this now.

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