Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dark Whispers

After all this time, I was finally able to read Dark Whispers, the third book in Bruce Coville's Unicorn Chronicles.  As I mentioned in my post about Into the Land of the Unicorns, that first book was published in 1994, while the second book came out in 1999.  Dark Whispers was originally published in 2008, nearly ten years later.  That's a long time to wait.  It was an even longer time because this final volume was split into two, making the entire series four books long (and about fifteen years in the making).  Dark Whispers is also the first book in the Unicorn Chronicles that I have not read before; I elected to wait until I had a copy of The Last Hunt before re-reading the entire series.  I apologize as there will be some spoilers here.  I'll try to keep them to a minimum, but the books are all related.

Dark Whispers begins where Song of the Wanderer leaves off.  Amalia Flickerfoot has been crowned the new Queen of the Unicorns.  And while learning how to be Queen, the Unicorns must face their greatest threat ever: Beloved and the Hunters have one of the Queen's Five Lockets, gateways into Luster.  It is only a matter of time before they cross over into Luster for the Last Hunt.  And thanks to the Geomancer, they know exactly when Beloved will cross: the Blood Moon. 

Grimwold, the Keeper of the Unicorn Chronicles, comes across an oddity within the Chronicles.  There are a few pages missing, as well as a crossed out passage.  He thinks he can make out a reference to "the Whisperer."  An old human who is also at the council, Alma Leonetti, is the only one who has heard of the Whisperer, and though she cannot remember from where she heard the reference, she suggests that the Queen send someone to the Centaur King in order to ask if he has the tale.  And so Cara, along with a small group, finds herself once again travelling through Luster in search of this elusive story.

Meanwhile on Earth, Ian Hunter, Cara's father, goes in search of his wife and Cara's mother.  He knows she is a prisoner of the Rainbow Prison, which is made of different shafts of light between Earth and Luster.  The problem is that once he is in the Rainbow Prison, it will be much harder to leave.

I honestly liked Dark Whispers better than Song of the WandererDark Whispers had a better pace than the previous book.  I also don't think Cara's group ever got to be as big as it did in the previous book.  And by shifting the narrative from Cara to other characters, the reader is able to get to know these other characters a lot better.  Although it took me almost twenty years from when Into the Land of the Unicorns was first published to get this far into the story, I think it was well worth the wait.

But now onto The Last Hunt, the final book in the Unicorn Chronicles.

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