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The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy
The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy
Book One in The Shadow of the Unicorn Series
by Suzanne de Montigny
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Tags: Fantasy, kidlit, SCBWI, children’s books, horses, middle grade, unicorns, plague, asteroid, fireball, hurricane, dinosaurs, ghosts, animals, magic, healing
Release: November 2012
Editor: Lea Schizas
Cover Designer: Marion Sipe
A loud, hissing sound filled the air. The unicorns looked up, their eyes filled with horror.
Azaria, a unicorn colt, is intrigued when the young clairvoyant dinosaur, Darius, foresees a terrifying change in the world. When a giant fireball smashes into the earth, the unicorns struggle to survive the hurricanes and starvation that follow. Danger of a more sinister nature threatens when the creatures-that-walk-on-two-legs settle in the valley and their leader, Ishmael, discovers the healing power of the unicorns’ horns. Azaria, now a young stallion, must use his wits to save the herd from complete extinction.
“It’s a giant fireball!” cried Azaria.
The unicorns stared in silence.
Azaria stood, his eyes fixed on the huge rock burning and hissing as it hurled toward the earth. Sparks flew everywhere, threatening to ignite the grasslands of the valley. The giant rock whizzed through the heavens until it disappeared from sight. The herd waited, but nothing happened. Several seconds later, a loud crash thundered far in the distance and the ground shook violently. Azaria’s body slammed into the ground.
The unicorns began whinnying and neighing at once.
“It’s what the dinosaur predicted!” shouted a male.
“There’ll be monsters on two legs!” A female’s thin voice pierced the air.
Azaria struggled to get up. He pushed with his two forelegs, but a sharp pain in his hip wouldn’t let his legs follow.
“Mother,” he called, “I can’t get up…Mother?” He listened for the reassuring sound of her voice, but she wasn’t there.
The unicorns continued to cry in fear and pain.
“What if there’s another one?” screamed a hysterical mare. “The valley will burn!”
“Quiet! All of you,” Mohala’s thunderous voice shouted over the frightened crowd. “We are unicorns! We are not hyenas. You will all stop the hysterics.” The noise subsided except for a few sobs. She continued. “Now listen to Polaris, the Great Stallion.”
Polaris appeared before his herd looking shaken, but still standing tall and proud. “Unicorns, we’ve just witnessed something very strange. I know. It’s very frightening. And yes, it could be the beginning of the change young Darius spoke of. But now we must be strong and stand united until we know what to do. Swallow your fear, for it’s our fear, not the fireball that threatens to destroy us. We have three strong herds and I know we’ll survive this. But let’s begin by helping those in need.”
Azaria felt soothed, yet confused by his father’s words. He struggled to rise again, but rolled back to the ground in pain.
“Father!” he called, “I’m here. I can’t get up.”
Aurora and Polaris finally appeared by his side.
“What happened?” asked Aurora.
“I fell on that sharp rock.” He tried hoisting himself up again. “If I can just get up a little further…” he groaned, “I could maybe stand.”
“Azaria, stay still,” ordered his mother.
The colt pushed himself up again, but rolled back helplessly.
“Stay still,” commanded Polaris.
“No…I think I can…” Azaria tried again.
Polaris lunged at Azaria with his horn. The colt fell back, frightened, but the horn settled softly on the very spot that stung. Azaria yelped.
“Don’t move,” Aurora commanded.
It came slowly at first – warmth that grew hotter and hotter until it nearly burned. Azaria squirmed and, just as he was ready to cry out again, the heat subsided and along with it, the pain. Looking up, Azaria saw his father grinning, one eyebrow raised as though he had just shared a very good secret.
“Feeling better?” he asked.
“How did you do that?” asked Azaria.
“A new lesson for you, my son,” he said. “Healing. Something you’ll be able to do once you get your horn.”
About the Author:
SUZANNE DE MONTIGNY wrote her first unicorn novel at the age of twelve. Several years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting her love affair with the unicorns. As a teacher in Vancouver, B.C., she learned she could spin a good tale that kept kids and teachers begging for more. The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy is her first novel. She lives in Burnaby, B.C. with her husband and two boys.
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