Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Claire worries about her sister Sophie. Sophie might feel better after a mysterious illness, but Claire still doesn't think her sister is herself again. Moving into Windemere Manor, which is part of an inheritance, with their parents means a change of scenery. The house is filled with interesting objects and there's plenty of time for exploring, which is how they find the entrance to a place called Arden. There's a ladder in one of the fireplaces that ends in a well in this magical country. Their first journey there immediately brings problems and Claire doesn't dare to use the ladder again until Sophie disappears. She then discovers that her sister is well known in Arden and that she's currently missing and a wanted person.

Arden is filled with magic and unicorns once were the most vital part of it, until a war broke out and they all disappeared. Unicorn related artifacts are valued because of their magic. There's also a legend about unicorns and this important part of Arden's history might be connected to Sophie's disappearance. Will Claire be able to find out what happened to her sister? To uncover more information about Sophie's whereabouts she needs to conquer her fears and accept help from others. Claire would do anything for her sister, but will she be able to find her in a world filled with magic she hardly knows anything about?

The Unicorn Quest is a wonderful enchanting story. I loved every single detail of this book. Claire is a brave and smart main character. She's resilient and won't back down from a challenge. Sophie is struggling with something and Claire doesn't know how to help her sister, but she loves her and that is why she will always be there for her. She goes after her without hesitation and this makes her a true hero. I loved their connection and finding out if Claire would be reunited with Sophie kept me on the edge of my seat.

Kamilla Benko writes about an amazing world. I immediately fell in love with Arden and its magical system. I liked the colorful descriptions of the surroundings and was impressed by the way Arden comes to life. Claire's adventure is filled with unexpected twists and turns, enemies she doesn't know anything about and a history of a country she's only recently set foot in for the first time. It was interesting to experience her journey with her and I enjoyed every single moment. The Unicorn Quest is a terrific spellbinding story and I highly recommend it.

Advice

The Unicorn Quest is meant for children between 8 and 12 years old, but I think it's perfectly suitable for everyone who loves fantasy, especially those who are a fan of unicorns.

About Kamilla Benko


Kamilla Benko spent most of her childhood climbing into wardrobes, trying to step through mirrors, and plotting to run away to an art museum. Now, she visits other worlds as a children’s book editor. Originally from Indiana, she currently lives in New York with her bookshelves, teapot, and hiking boots.

Links

Website // Twitter // Instagram // Amazon

THE TRUTH ABOUT UNICORNS
Guest post by Kamilla Benko

Unicorns seem to be stampeding everywhere, taking over our frappes, memes, birthday parties, and even Silicon Valley in the shape of investors. But why this fascination with unicorns? After all, if you think about it, they’re kind of silly creatures: horses, with ice cream cones stuck to their forehead. And yet, they have been revered for centuries.

When I write centuries, I truly mean centuries—the first image of a unicorn dates back from the days of the Indus Valley civilizations, nearly 5,500 years ago. In context, that means humans have been dreaming about unicorns for at least a couple hundred years before the appearance of Stonehenge; at least a thousand years before the pyramids of Gaza rose above the desert; and at least two thousand years before the first stone was laid for the Great Wall of China.

Unicorns made their first written appearance in Greek physician’s Ctesias studies on natural life and are even mentioned in the Bible. But of course, unicorns, aren’t real…right? Surely the ancients just confused the mythical unicorn with a rhinoceros. The answer, is yes. And no. The ancient Greeks were very aware of Africa and India, and they were familiar with rhinos from their travels. It is thought by some scholars, that the unicorn is actually a compilation—a chimera, if you will—of several different unicorns through out the ages, including but not limited to a Tibetan goat known as a chiru; a Persian onager; and of course, the Artic narwhal. (I read about a lot of this in A Natural History of Unicorns by Chris Lavers).

And the unicorn is not limited to the Euro-centric version we see so often today—oh no. There are different kinds of unicorns found throughout many different cultures. From the Chinese qilin (less of a horse with a horn and more of a chimera with cloven feet—honestly, to me it kind of looks like a unicorn-dragon, which is doubly cool) to a story in the Mahabharata about human hermit Rishyasringa, also known as Gazelle Horn, who lived deep in the forest and had a horn protruding from his forehead.

But though historical unicorns differ vastly from one another, one common thread links them together. In all versions, from the Mahabharata to Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, unicorns are rare. They are special. And they are elusive—much like knowledge. Which is why when I decided to write the story of two sisters who both seek answers to uncertain outcomes, I knew that what they were actually looking for was a unicorn.

Because the truth about unicorns, is this: they exist.

Maybe not in the form of a healing horse with cloven hooves, but as those things that are rare and special in your own life that you seek to discover and preserve. After all, history proves that unicorns take on a variety of forms. Why can’t a unicorn be perfect slant of a sunbeam that hits you just right so that its warmth seeps into your bones? Or the thick black line running through an item on your bucket list? Or even a turquoise and pink cup of coffee?

And perhaps, when you’re out there looking for your own unicorns, you’ll find that one has been with you all along, just waiting to be discovered.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader will win a hardcover copy of The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are
international.

12 comments:

  1. Oooo this sounds really right up my & my daughter's alleys! ;) And I LOVE UNICORNS. So, they're real in my mind. ;)

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  2. Do unicorns take over frappes? I really don't want to share my frappe!

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  3. This is definitely a book that my grandchildren would love. :-)

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  4. The Unicorn Quest sounds like a fun, suspenseful adventure that takes place in a vivid and magical world.

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  5. love the cover - so attractive and stands out! It promises a really good read xx

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  6. This sounds like a wonderfully magical story, would love to read this with my son.

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  7. I love unicorns. What made you choose to write about them?
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  8. Looks like the perfect book for Emily, Dylan and I !!! Emily loves to read to Dylan and when she is not feeling well, I read to her

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  9. I share a love of unicorns with my daughter. I've had this book listed in my TBR list for months now. The cover caught my eye and the blurb sealed it...we will read this book.

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  10. sounds like an wonderful story! love unicorns

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