Skandar and the Unicorn Thief
A. F. Steadman (Author)
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Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
May 03, 2022
5.82 X 8.59 X 1.4 inches | 1.28 pounds
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About the Author
A.F. Steadman grew up in the Kent countryside, getting lost in fantasy worlds and scribbling stories in notebooks. Before focusing on writing, she worked in law, until she realized that there wasn't nearly enough magic involved. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Skandar series.
Mainlanders believed unicorns were only a myth. But when the Islanders revealed their secret--unicorns are real--Mainlanders learned "unicorns don't belong in fairy tales; they belong in nightmares." The magical creatures of lore are not for the fainthearted in this exhilarating and wildly imaginative middle-grade fantasy debut from A.F. Steadman. Unicorns are dangerous, bloodthirsty and immortal. They become slightly less vicious when bonded with a rider, so destined children are found and trained to channel the creature's magic. At 13, children take the Hatchery exam--those who pass may attempt "to open the Hatchery door on the Island" and find a unicorn egg. Skandar has watched years of rider/unicorn pairs competing in the Chaos Cup and dreams of joining their ranks. Thus, he is devastated when his teacher inexplicably denies him the test and astonished when a mysterious rider whisks him away to the Island anyway. But nothing there is as he expected. Unicorn riding isn't all winning challenges--Skandar must learn to fight. The Islanders are terrified of a shadowed figure called the Weaver and Skandar must learn how to work as an effective battle team with his unpredictable unicorn, Scoundrel's Luck. As Skandar works to uncover the Weaver's secrets, he realizes he may be the Island's only hope. Steadman fantastically reinvents the traditional Western unicorn mythology by inverting the classic images--serene, majestic, noble, gentle, sparkly--and presenting instead a creature that is ferocious, deadly and nearly unstoppable. Skandar and the Unicorn Thief is filled with incredible worldbuilding, a fully realized system of magic and an unforgettable cast of riders and unicorns. --Kyla Paterno, freelance reviewer--Shelf Awarness "6/03/2022"