The Captain’s Log – a plague of unicorns (Jane Yolen)

Ahoy there me mateys!  A combination of Jane Yolen and unicorns with a title like that!  How could I resist.  And what an odd little tale it was.

Unicorns in this are magical wild tricky animals that like golden apples.  The monks need the golden apples to make cider to sell to repair the abbey.  But the unicorns are winning!  Nothing the monks do seems to work.  Even heroes are having problems.  Then young James, the duke’s son, is sent to the abbey to study.  Might he have the answer?

I loved the monastery and James and the monks.  The world Yolen portrays is fun with elements of silliness.  The character of James and the atmosphere at the abbey are what I loved about the book.  The unicorns almost seem like an afterthought in a good way.  Which is crazy but awesome.

This short novel (192 pages) is supposedly for middle grade readers.  Bah!  I loved it and the clever twists on classic fairy tale themes.  Plus is has beautiful illustrations.  Lots of reviews seem to recommend it for boys only!  Bah!  Girls can and certainly should read this one too.  James’ older sister is awesome.

Loved it!

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

Young James, the duke’s son, asks too many questions. At least that’s what everyone at Callendar Castle thinks after all but the last of James’ tutors quits and his uncle ships him off to be educated at Cranford Abbey. Unfortunately, the once-beautiful abbey has problems of its own, including cracked walls, a leaking roof, and shattered windows. Not to mention the pesky herd of unicorns that continue to enter the abby’s orchards and claim them as their own.

The only hope to save the abbey is money raised by Abbot Aelian’s golden apple cider. But that means getting rid of the orchard’s unwelcome visitors. And, as everyone knows, unicorns have very sharp horns. Monks do not.

James has an idea that could help defeat these hungry beasts, but first he must find someone to listen to him. For once, he might be the only one asking the right questions. And the only one who knows the perfect hero for the job.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Jane Yolen – Author

To buy the book go to:

a plague of unicorns – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

16 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – a plague of unicorns (Jane Yolen)

  1. I do get a bit fed up at how many books seem to get classified as children’s or YA when publishers don’t quite know what to make of them. I’ve just completed reading the audio version of The Dark Lord of Derkholm which was said to be a children’s book – which it clearly isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Diana Wynne Jones. I haven’t read a ton of her work but have really liked what I did read. I feel that some author’s have their works clumped together in one section even though they be versatile and write for all different age groups. Of course I don’t let publisher classifications hold me back.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you were looking for another cracking audible read – The Dark Lord of Derkholm is a fabulous audiobook. I know I enjoyed listening to it far more than reading it – and I liked it, then:) But the humour and the violence were far more in evidence listening to it, as far as I was concerned:)


  2. While Yolen definitely wrote for middle grade or even highschool, her works are good enough to tickle the fancy of this adult.
    I read her graphic novel, the Last Dragon [?] last year and my goodness, it was good. She is definitely a top drawer author.

    Liked by 1 person

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