Beautiful, majestic creatures synonymous with purity. The legend around unicorns doesn’t vary much by country, or really since they were first believed to exist. Many believed that unicorn horns contained magical properties and could cure any illness. Therefore, unicorn horns were widely sought after, and fake ones were often pedaled as the real thing. It was believed that a young maiden could entrance a unicorn, that if she sat calmly a unicorn would come, lay down and put it’s head in her lap. This was supposedly the method used to capture unicorns.
Now a days, unicorns are every where. I don’t think I can go into a store of one kind or another and not see something with a unicorn on it. Granted, these unicorns are more the cartoon-y type ones as opposed to the majestic, graceful ones. Not that there’s a problem with this. I myself have several of the TY unicorns, in varying colours.
Where I don’t see unicorns very much is in fantasy novels. As I was thinking of writing this article, I realized I could only think of 3 instances, that I’ve read, of unicorns in books. The Last Unicorn, The Obsidian Trilogy and The Twelve Kingdoms. And to be fair, in the Twelve Kingdoms, they are Kirin, the Japanese version of unicorns.
A quite search on Goodreads for the word “unicorn” brought up mostly children’s and middle grade books about unicorns. There was very little that I could see that would be YA or adult fiction. Why is this? Are unicorns not a staple of the fantasy genre? When you think of “fantasy” do unicorns not come to mind?
Do you know of some fantasy fiction about unicorns? Do you want to see more unicorns in fantasy novels? Why do you think unicorns are written about as much as some other fantasy creature?