Riding the Unicorn - Paul Kearney


Jun 3, 2004
This is a stand alone book and though the title may give the impression of a soft edged story, don't be fooled, this is far from a soft story.

There are two worlds in this story, one based on our own and the other very different, which the author manages to integrate very well throughout the story.
It begins by introducing the reader to Willoby, a middle aged prison officer, miserable with life, feeling his age and distanced from his friends and family. Then in the mist of this midlife chrises he starts hearing strange voices, seeing unusual images and feeling strange things that aren't of his world, so now he's loosing his mind as well!
Thinking himself mad, he struggles to understand the views he see of a society, more primitive than our own. A world were men ride horseback, wield swords and dabble in magic.

I really enjoyed the gritty theme of this story, which starts from page one and stays through to the end. Willoby is a hard character that I found morbidly interesting. The author draws on the dark aspects of nature to craft a few of his characters and it gave the plot an hard, cruel edge, but realistic too.

All the character's have dual natures, which left me wondering what their real motives were and highlighting questions of what is evil and what is good.

Sometimes I sympathised with Willoby and other times I didn't like him at all, such was the tallent of Kearney writing style as he was able to craft believable characters, with depth and contradictions without slowing the plot.

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