U is for unicorns

Unicorns — and other magical beasts — are hallmarks of fantasy. They do not, often cannot, exist within our world, so their mere presence tells us that we are elsewhere and elsewhen, even if we see no overt magic. Unicorns are traditionally precious, pure, and innocent, and only attracted to others who share these virtues. In Harry Potter, their blood can be used to extend life. In The Last Unicorn, they are hunted and trapped because of what they are (and a unicorn is the main character of the book — you have to love that!). I think the most unusual treatment I’ve seen of unicorns is in Alethea Kontis’s short story, “The Unicorn Hunter.”

Do you like unicorns? What’s your favorite magical creature? What’s the most unusual way you’ve seen a magical creature used?

This is a post for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is epic fantasy, and blog posts will cover authors, books, tropes, themes, or anything else I can think of to fill the alphabet. Check out some of the other bloggers participating or follow my blog by e-mail if you like what you’ve read.

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  1. I love unicorns…but I write them as vicious, black, red-eyed monsters…because I can. 🙂

  2. I do like the pretty sort of unicorns. Maybe I like the Pegasus better since it can fly.

    Weird, weird, weird…
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  3. For my proverbial unicorn buck, give me the traditional Chinese unicorn–nasty, evil buggers with sword-sharp horns.

    As for my favorite magical creature…umm…the roc. Definitely the roc.

    Most unusual use would have to be Douglas Niles’ Diggers (basically dwarves) taken by the Madness, which makes them dig uncontrollably and lets them survive on nothing but a small trickle of magical water.


  4. Pingback: A to Z Blog Challenge: U is for Unicorns and an Unbeleivable story. « Holly Michael's Writing Straight

  5. Hi, mentioned you on my blog today! Go unicorns!

    • That’s a great post you have there. I’ll be rooting for your son to be drafted for the NFL. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

  6. I like unicorns. The weirdest book I’ve read about unicorns was Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund. I won it in a giveaway, otherwise I would never have come across it. Anyway, in this novel, unicorns attack people and are carnivorous. Totally off-putting, but also kind of fascinating.

    • Ooh, carnivorous unicorns! Very cool. I’ll have to keep my eye out for that one.

      Thanks for commenting!

  7. I LOVE unicorns (and equines in general – girlhood adoration never outgrown, CHECK)! In fact, two and a half made it into my last NaNo novel, all talked, and one was also a talking book/tattoo/unicorn fairy. I suppose that means that novel leans heavily on the fantasy side. In fact, as I think of it, probably epic, as there is a journey and swords.
    As an aside, I’m completely astonished that I didn’t actually use U for unicorns in my own A-Z post!

    • That’s right — I’d forgotten the talking book/tattoo/unicorn fairy. I really must read that sometime. (Hint, hint!)

  8. Thanks, Erin!

    I’ve always been drawn to unicorns (thank you, Peter S. Beagle) and dragons (thank you, J. R. R. Tolkien).

    • I quite enjoyed the story. Thank you!

      Wonderful influences, both.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  9. Loved reading Alethea Kontis’s short story … what a unique take on an old story.

    • Isn’t that lovely? I found it via a post on John Scalzi’s blog (when he had open threads for people to make suggestions for award nominations).

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