Review: The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko

Unicorn Quest by Kamilla BenkoThe Unicorn Quest
Kamilla Benko
Bloomsbury
Published on February 6, 2018

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About The Unicorn Quest
Claire Martinson still worries about her older sister Sophie, who battled a mysterious illness last year. But things are back to normal as they move into Windermere Manor… until the sisters climb a strange ladder in a fireplace and enter the magical land of Arden.

There, they find a world in turmoil. The four guilds of magic no longer trust each other. The beloved unicorns have gone, and terrible wraiths roam freely. Scared, the girls return home. But when Sophie vanishes, it will take all of Claire’s courage to climb back up the ladder, find her sister, and uncover the unicorns’ greatest secret.

My Review

This was such a fun book! At first I expected the story would involve both sisters and possibly be told in alternating viewpoints. I’m not sure why I thought that, but it’s told in only the younger sister, Claire’s point-of-view, and though her sister is a major part of the story, she’s not actually on scene much.

I loved the story world, especially the land of Arden and its system of magic and cultures. Several groups have isolated from each other in the aftermath of a war. Each group has a specialized type of magic. There are the Gemmers, who can manipulate stone, the Spinners, who can control thread and weave stories, the Forgers, who have power over metals, and the Tillers, whose magic relates to plants. I thought those were a kind of unique spin on magic. The story uses them cleverly, too.

Claire and her friends from Arden form an unlikely team, and at first, they set out to find Sophie together. As the story progresses, Claire, who at first seems like a timid girl, the kind who follows in her sister’s shadow, begins to assert her own ideas and act on them. She becomes a lot more confident, even as she faces challenges far beyond her expectations. All in all, I think this is a great book for middle or late elementary readers.

Unicorn Quest on AmazonRecommended for Ages 8 up.

Cultural Elements
Claire’s family is white.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
None.

Romance/Sexual Content
None.

Spiritual Content
In the land of Arden, characters use various types of magic. (Briefly described in my review.)

Violent Content
Claire learns about a terrible war that took place in Arden years before her visit in which all the unicorns were massacred because people thought they’d gain immortality with a unicorn heart. She hears sounds of battle around her in a haunted field. No gory descriptions.

Drug Content
None.

Unicorn Quest on GoodreadsNote: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

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About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.

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