#20BooksOfSummer is an annual event hosted by Cathy Brown of746 Booksand runs from 3rd June until 3rd September With the aim to clearing a target of 5, 10 or 20 books from your TBR but with very relaxed and fun rules.
Hereis my joining post & List!
This is such a magical yet down To Earth tale of two children with secrets from a troubled area of Glasgow who have a remarkable experience on their residential trip.
Lewis is NOT happy. He didn’t want to go on the stupid residential school trip, he didn’t want to go to some wet and cold outdoorsy place in the Highlands and he certainly didn’t want to get stuck abseiling half way down a CLIFF but his mum wanted to go to a stupid conference so he has to go.
So whilst in a blind panic, surely he didn’t see a unicorn… surely?
Rhona wants Lewis to cheer up, he’s always been a bit different but he just seems so grumpy recently, but when it turns out he did see a unicorn and it has been mortally wounded she is motivated to do whatever she can to save the last blessing of Unicorns in Scotland, and Lewis is going to help.
Beira crashed her magic hammer down to put a protective charm around Whindfall Forest, and cast a curse: nobody who enters the forest intending to capture or harm a unicorn will live to see winter. The unicorns at last had the safe haven they needed.
This book is so gorgeous for many reasons. I really enjoyed the Scottish aspects of this book with Glaswegian dialect. I’m not Scottish myself but I really enjoy reading books with settings and speaking patterns that are different to the West London experience I grew up with, especially across Britain and Ireland and the little glossary in the back is useful for the words I was unsure of!
I also enjoyed the magical premise with a gritty down to earth setting. The children are not those who would expect to have a magical adventure they come from a deprived area and questioned themselves by discussing about how unicorns are from stories like Rainbow Fairies and are all sparkly. There is also darkness in these children as Lewis is terrified he will end up like his dad, the reason for his parents break up being The Night Dad Lost It and we see hints of what Rhona is going through by how Mr Deacon fills the gaps and quietly helps when Lewis didn’t even know she needed help. I won’t spoiler things but it was very interesting to see such a tender topic discussed in MG, a reality for many more children that we realise.
“They’re in there Lewis,” she whispered. She’d never felt so certain of anything in her life. the air surged with expectation. They were in there, and they were waiting for her and Lewis to let them out.
It’s also got a villain worthy of a Disney film with the Cruella-esque Ailsa who whilst beautiful on the outside is rotten and festering with hate and greed wanting and desiring more, perhaps even driven mad as she has despicable plans for the unicorn blessing.
Overall this is a lovely book for 9/10+ with its earthy humour but resounding touch of wild magic.
Guardians of the Wild Unicorns by Lindsay Littleson is published by Discover Kelpies.