THE UNICORN CHRONICLES : BOOK 1
by Bruce Coville
Release date : 1999
Eight!… Nine!… Ten! As each bell chime sounds, Cara pushes herself faster up the steep bell tower steps that lead to the roof. Eleven! She must be on the roof when the next bell tolls. As she races up the stairs. Cara can’t believe everything that has happened. Wasn’t it just a few minutes ago that she and Grandmother Morris were peacefully walking home form the library? When did that mysterious man start to follow them? What does he want? Where did he come from? Who is he? Twelve! The ringing bell brings Cara back to the moment. Gramma told her what she must do! With a deep breath, and only half believing she will be safe, Cara jumps off the church roof and into the adventure of her lifetime—into the Land of Luster, the world of the unicorns. In Luster, Cara meets the Dimblethum, the Squijum, and the most magnificent of all the inhabitants, Lightfoot, a rebellious young unicorn. Together the new friends set out on a quest—to reach the Unicorn Queen and prevent the destruction of all unicorns. (taken from back cover)MY THOUGHTS : A magical book that has everything in it: a thrilling plot, a lot of action, a nice atmosphere and very funny, likeable and unique characters. The first pages were enough to get me hooked.
Explanations arrive bit by bit, without being too long or too concise. They are perfectly balanced according to the obstacles and the new places that Cara faces with her friends. I know I tend to talk about the plots' explanations and descriptions a lot when I review books, but that's because it means a lot to me. Especially in fantasy books. Some authors tend to make the details drag on, forgetting the plot because they fear that the reader won't understand all the basics of the world they created. The problem is that it often takes our mind out of the story. Others, on the contrary, don't give enough material for us to visualize it all or even understand who's who in the story. Which leads to us being lost and wanting to throw the book against the wall (don't worry, I never really do that). So, when it's nicely done, I'm very happy. :) In this case, it is.
Back to the unicorns. Every twists and turns are unexpected. The world of Luster is very well described, its magic and its beauty as much as its dangers. Cara, who asks herself a lot of questions on her past, is profoundly human. The writing is fluid, and I really didn't want to put the book down. Reading this book equals traveling in dreamland. Humor and a good moral can be added to the mix. I think it is a very nice read for young readers (and old too as a matter of fact!).
So, thumbs up unicorns! I recommend this book to parents and children alike. It made me want to read the sequels, which is always a good sign. :)