The Christmas Unicorn by Elf Ahearn

The Christmas Unicorn by Elf Ahearn
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Romance, Historical
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

The greatest gifts aren’t always under the Christmas tree.

Believing herself abandoned by her fiancé in the wilds of Northern Wales, actress Babbie Crispen and her wheelchair-bound son struggle to find shelter on a frigid night before Christmas.

A strange man the locals call the Wicked Scot finds them near death on a snow-covered hillside. He brings them to his castle, a place of both terrifying and wonderful magic so powerful it changes all their lives.

It’s one thing to enjoy blustery winter weather by looking at it through a window. It’s quite another to be stuck in the middle of it and have nowhere warm and safe to go at all.

Most stories about Christmas were written about people who have a home to live in, however modest it might be. The holidays take on quite a different meaning for families that don’t have enough money for basic shelter and food, much less anything special to eat or to give as a gift. As soon as Babbie and her young son, Francis, I was sucked into their tale and couldn’t wait to find out how she’d manage to keep their little family alive over the winter. The odds were stacked against them so terribly.

I would have liked to see more attention paid to the character development. The storyline was well developed, but my understanding of who the characters were as individuals and how they were changing as a result of their experiences during this Christmas wasn’t as strong. While I could have described their physical appearances and occupations easily, I would have struggled to do the same with their personalities. There simply wasn’t enough information for me to say what any of the main characters were like apart from that.

The magic in this world was delightfully unpredictable. I couldn’t blame Babbie one bit for being so unnerved by the things she experienced when she first visited the Wicked Scot‘s castle. There were no rational explanations for them, and some of her experiences were just vague enough to make me wonder if her worries about there being something dangerous in that house were legitimate. I can’t say much else about this without giving away spoilers, but I deeply enjoyed where the author went with it.

The Christmas Unicorn made me smile.

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