Unicorn Keep by Angelia Almos
Publisher: Thoroughweb Press
Length: Full Length (164 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid
Jiline of Ainsley is dismayed when her best friend is selected by the mages to become a unicorn keeper at the Keep, an isolated mountain fortress. Especially since Madelen is in love and engaged to the richest boy in the village. Jiline on the other hand has no prospects of marriage or a trade in their small village. So, she comes up with a plan to take Madelen’s place at the Keep and hopefully flunk out of unicorn keeper training before the mages can discover the deception. Unfortunately, the unicorns have their own plans for her.
Mage Herrick, son of the Keep Mage, returns home to the Keep as the trainee keepers arrive. A chance encounter with Jiline, who he believes is Madelen, on the trail sparks a magical connection between the two. Knowing he can’t feel a magical draw to someone who has no magic, he tries to prove Madelen (Jiline) has magic within her. His attention brings unforeseen complications for both of them.
Jiline's friend Madelen is chosen by the mages to serve at Unicorn Keep. The girls are dismayed, as Madelen is to marry the mayor's son within the year. They hatch a plot and Jiline takes her place at the Keep. She is chosen as a unicorn keeper and becomes friendly with one of the younger mages, Herrick. Her trouble begins when the unicorns decide she is the chosen one who will help them escape from the mages valley.
The interaction between Herrick and Jiline is fraught with tension. Herrick feels the draw mages get when they find their soul mate, but tries to dismiss it as he knows keepers are out of bounds to the mages.
I love unicorns so the title of this book caught my attention right away. Jiline and Herrick are very strong characters, each one determined to do what they feel is right. Herrick secretly defies the Keep authority while Jiline sneaks out at night to meet the unicorns. The unicorns' story becomes the main plot and the author skillfully brings the animals and Jiline together, and includes Herrick in such a way his story blends seamlessly with Jiline's.
Young adults who like fantasy with a light touch of romance will enjoy this book. It's a little out of the ordinary and introduces magic wielded by humans with all the passions and faults of normal people. The unicorns are unique to this story and the author also reveals their personalities so that I got to know them too. I enjoyed reading this book and hope readers try it, it's well worth reading.