Very vaguely following in our theme of fairy tales for December, “An Old-Fashioned Unicorn’s Guide…” is a dryly funny parody of fantasy romance and quest tropes, both old and new. Call it a PG-13 offering for fans of Patricia C. Wrede and Gail Carson Levine:
“Your principles disgust me,” Brianna murmured, entwined with Fernando’s manly form. “No matter how muscular your thighs, I will never be yours!”
She proved this by sealing her mouth against Fernando’s in a passionate yet distinctly defiant kiss. They toppled into some conveniently-placed ferns.
“Rowena,” Ethel [the unicorn] said in a dark voice. “Aren’t you going to do something about that?”
Rowena [the other unicorn] looked up from the ferns, which she was chewing thoughtfully. “Have fun, kids!” she called. “Stay safe!”
Unfortunately, it gets far too serious and sentimental for its own good in the end, succumbing to a whole ‘nother set of clichés, but overall it’s terribly amusing.
Sarah Rees Brennan