(US edition: Eos, US$24.95 / Canada$38.95, 308 pages, hardback, 2003;
ISBN: 0-380-97899-7. UK edition: Corgi, £5.99, 380 pages, paperback,
published 4 December 2003; ISBN: 0-552-15135-1.)
First dragons, now unicorns! Anne McCaffrey has an unparalleled knack
for taking the motifs of fantasy and casting them flawlessly as science
fiction. In this case, the "unicorn girl" of the title is Acorna, a
member of the Linyaari race. Mainly humanoid in form, she has the hooves
and the magical horn of classical unicorns ... combined with a brilliant
grasp of science and economics that make her a formidable force. If
you haven't met her yet, go back and start with Acorna: The Unicorn
In this book, the Linyaari have begun to reclaim their ravaged homeworld
of Vhiliinyar. Acorna is determined to search for her Condor, to make a rough landing
on Makahomia. Home of the famous Makahomian Temple Cats -- and the resourceful
Nadhari -- the planet offers many challenges. Politics and culture collide
as the situation reveals a devastating plague among the cats. Acorna
feels bound to rescue them, but apparently not everyone wants them rescued.
love, Aari, with the help of her friends Becker and Nadhari. But less-than-reliable
equipment causes their ship, the
Acorna's tale continues to unfold. For every complication solved, three
new ones spring up to take its place. She makes a sweet and engaging
hera, capable of carrying on her own story long before she had a hero
to share it with -- and he's gone missing in action anyhow. The Linyaari
are an interesting race, gentle and innocent but no longer naïve.
Check out the terrific notes on their language at the back of this book.
Acorna's Rebels is a must for McCaffrey fans. Anyone owned by
cats will also enjoy it, as will those fond of unicorns. Recommended.
Review by Elizabeth Barrette.