Guardians of the Wild Unicorns by Lindsay Littleson
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Summary from NetGalley:
Away from home at sleepaway camp, Lewis and his best friend Rhona discover that unicorns don’t just belong in legends and fairy tales. Real unicorns do exist and they need help!
The two friends find themselves caught up in a dangerous adventure to save the world’s last herd of wild unicorns. Sneaking out of camp at night, they must track down the captured unicorns, help them escape to safety in the ancient and mysterious forest, and keep them secret so no one can harm them ever again.
Fighting against real-life poachers, and harnessing ancient magic, can they rescue the legendary creatures in time?
ARC provided by Myricl Marketing and Media via NetGalley for an honest review.
If you are hoping to find cute, cuddly and sparkly unicorns then stay away from Scotland. These unicorns are more realistic in their temperaments and looks. These are wild beasts that would more likely kill you then let you pet them. Which was just fine with me. This is definitely not a Disney type unicorn story which made me like it even more.
Lewis and Rhona were very interesting characters, they both have their issues and even though they are friends they don’t seem to know that much about each other. They both are very private about their personal lives, even with each other. Rhona is the more out going of the pair and Lewis would rather curl up with a good book than interact with other people. But even though they are mismatched they truly care about each other. Even though the book is short, they both grow through their shared experiences on this adventure.
The adventure is very realistic with the exception that they are saving the last of the wild unicorns. The activities that they participate in on the school camping trip sound like fun, at least from Rhona’s point of view. She very much enjoys them and convinces Lewis to do some of them with some good results. The plot of saving the unicorns was interesting. It bordered on endangered animals and poaching issues, unicorn horns are very valuable. But the relationship that develops between them and the children was special and heartwarming.
There were some slow spots to the story but the setting of the Scottish highlands was spectacular. Rhona’s Scottish dialect was hard to interpret at times and may turn some kids off of the story. Hopefully there will be a glossary in the final book.
Overall a likable story about wild unicorns that was not frilly or frivolous at all. It brought up some issues of animal welfare and endangered species with a nice magical touch. A solid read for middle schoolers who like their unicorn stories on the serious side.