The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey

Peter S. Beagle

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of The Last Unicorn. Here is the newly-illustrated origin of Peter S. Beagle’s most famous creation. Discover her might-have-been journey, both appealingly familiar and wonderfully strange. Note: The limited, signed edition is no longer available.


The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey

by Peter S. Beagle

ISBN: Hardcover: 978-1-61696-308-8; Ltd Signed Edition: 978-1-61696-318-7

Published: November 2018

Available Format(s): Hardcover and Limited Signed Hardcover


Special Commemorative Edition celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Last Unicorn

Introduction by Patrick Rothfuss
Preface by Carrie Vaughn
Original illustrations by Stephanie Law

Peter S. Beagle first imagined his beloved heroine when he was twenty-three, half a decade before she sprang into the world. Now the Last Unicorn’s fantastical origins are recaptured in this lovely commemorative hardcover. Here you will discover the eighty-five page genesis of Beagle’s masterpiece, his own wry musings upon his early career, charming original illustrations, and tributes from modern fantasy legends Patrick Rothfuss and Carrie Vaughn.

In this wonderfully strange adventure, a brave unicorn leaves her solitary life behind, determined to discover if she is the last of her kind. She is forewarned by a forlorn dragon and befuddled by a chatty butterfly; her unfamiliar traveling companion will be an exiled demon with a split personality and a penchant for philosophy.

Somewhere between mythology, modernity, and magic, the Last Unicorn has found herself on the road less traveled by . . . until now.

Praise for The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey “[STARRED REVIEW] Fifty years ago, the first edition of The Last Unicorn was published; the legend of a unicorn searching for her kind has filled readers’ hearts for decades. This commemorative hardcover edition is the first draft of what would eventually become Beagle’s best-known work . . . Fans will want to witness the evolution into the original.”

“Although this book is not the complete story of the travels of the unicorn and her friends, fans of the original will love encountering additional characters they never had the pleasure of meeting when they first experienced the unicorn’s journey.”
Publishers Weekly

10/10 stars. [Beagle’s] storytelling is pure artistry, and his prose is among the most delicate, magical writing you’ll probably ever read . . . a terrific little novella and a very welcome insight into Beagle’s earliest writing process and the evolution of a modern classic.”

“It is the first journey, the first introduction, the first chance meeting on the road, a melding of the immortal world of the unicorn and the brief world of us mortals, the first glimpse of the lilac wood. It is here we glimpse what will come to be, years before it came to pass.”
Barnes & Noble Book Blog  

“A very beautifully written book. 5/5 stars.”
Open Book Society

“Beagle has a way of drawing readers in and making us believe in unicorns.”
San Francisco Book Review

“Peter Beagle is one of America’s finest writers of literary fantasy. The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey further strengthens his reputation.”
—Michael Moorcock, author of the Elric of Melniboné series

“Did you ever have a dream that was gorgeous and harrowing, confusing and profound, and utterly impossible to describe?  This story is that dream.”
—Jacqueline Carey, author of Starless and Kushiel’s Dart

 “A lyrical tapestry of wordplay and despair, with resonances of Malvina Reynolds’ funny and desolate song-writing (‘Little Boxes,’ ‘What Have They Done to the Rain?’); a shadow Carl Sandburg version of the unmaking of myth, with a sixties sensibility.”
—Nina Kiriki Hoffman, author of The Thread that Bonds the Bones

“Enchanting, wistful, beautiful—it haunts me!” —Tamora Pierce, author of Tempests and Slaughter and The Immortals Quartet

The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey is a must-read for any fans of The Last Unicorn who want to see the bones of the story they love and a journey and experience like no other. The magic is still there, as is the love for this amazing story, only in a different way.”
Six Blue Marbles

Stephanie Law’s detailed expressive black-and-white illustrations add a celebratory touch to the commemorative 50th anniversary edition of Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey. Law’s work is a perfect accompaniment to this fragmentary origin tale, an early unfinished draft, of Beagle’s beloved fantasy, followed by Beagle’s wry commentary and reminiscences.”
—Karen Haber, Locus

Praise for The Last Unicorn “Comes alive and stays alive on bright intensity of imagination.” —The New York Times Book Review “Almost as if it were the last fairy tale, come out of lonely hiding in the forests of childhood, The Last Unicorn is as full of enchantment as any of the favorite tales readers may choose to recall.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch “[The Last Unicorn] has inspired everything from The Princess Bride to Stardust.” —Publishers Weekly “What makes The Last Unicorn unique is the way Mr. Beagle transcends the ordinary fantasy quest trope with his incomparable storytelling skill. The book is a triumph . . . The writing is as precise and beautiful as mosaic tiles, as colored glass backed by gold, sharp and glittering.”
Green Man Review

About the author Peter S. Beagle is the best-selling author of The Last Unicorn, which has sold a reported five million copies since its initial publication. His other novels include A Fine & Private Place, The Innkeeper’s Song, Tamsin, Summerlong, and In Calabria. Beagle’s short fiction has been collected in four volumes by Tachyon Publications, including The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche, The Line Between, We Never Talk About My Brother,  Sleight of Hand, and The Overneath. He has won the Hugo, Nebula, Mythopoeic, and Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire awards and the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Beagle lives in Northern California, where he is working on nearly innumerable projects.

Praise for Peter S. Beagle  “One of my favorite writers.” —Madeleine L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time “Peter S. Beagle illuminates with his own particular magic such commonplace matters as ghosts, unicorns, and werewolves. For years a loving readership has consulted him as an expert on those hearts’ reasons that reason does not know.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, author of A Wizard of Earthsea “Peter S. Beagle has both opulence of imagination and mastery of style.” —New York Times Book Review “At his best, Peter S. Beagle outshines the moon, the sun, the stars, the entire galaxy.” —Seattle Times  “Peter Beagle deserves a seat at the table with the great masters of fantasy.” —Christopher Moore, author of Lamb and The Serpent of Venice  “Not only one of our greatest fantasists, but one of our greatest writers, a magic realist worthy of consideration with such writers as Marquez, Allende, and even Borges.” —The American Culture “We all have something to learn—about writing, about humanity, about hope—from Peter Beagle.” —Seanan McGuire author of Rosemary and Rue  “Peter S. Beagle is (in no particular order) a wonderful writer, a fine human being, and a bandit prince out to steal readers’ hearts.” —Tad Williams, author of Tailchaser’s Song “Peter S. Beagle is a master of the magical.” —Kurt Busiek, author of Astro City and The Avengers  “[Beagle] has been compared, not unreasonably, with Lewis Carroll and J. R. R. Tolkien, but he stands squarely and triumphantly on his own feet.” —Saturday Review “Not only one of our greatest fantasists, but one of our greatest writers, a magic realist worthy of consideration with such writers as Marquez, Allende, and even Borges.” —The American Culture “Peter S. Beagle is the magician we all apprenticed ourselves to.” —Lisa Goldstein, author of The Red Magician “One of the all-time greats.” —The Guardian Praise for The Overneath “I was lucky enough to get an advance reading copy of this book a month ago, and reading it reminded me why Peter S Beagle is one of my favorite authors.” —Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind [STARRED REVIEW] “A masterful collection from a short story master—a must-read for Beagle fans.” —Kirkus, starred review

[STARRED REVIEW] “With sharp, lean elegance, Beagle (In Calabria) effortlessly chronicles the lives of unicorns, trolls, magicians, and adventurers in 13 poignant stories.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review [STARRED REVIEW] “Beagle’s strong and versatile talent is well on display here, and fantasy readers will be missing out if they don’t give it a look.” —Booklist, starred review Verdict: For fantasy fans, Beagle should be a staple.” —Library Journal “Peter Beagle deserves a seat at the table with the great masters of fantasy. If you had any doubts, The Overneath will dispel them.” —Christopher Moore, author of Lamb and The Serpent of Venice “These stories open a wider window on the work of a master storyteller. We all have something to learn—about writing, about humanity, about hope—from Peter Beagle.” —Seanan McGuire author of Rosemary and Rue Praise for In Calabria “A novella about love in a world of hardship, loss, magic, and recovery. Beagle’s unicorns have never been more bewitching, impossible, and genuine. I cherished every page.” —Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and After Alice [STARRED REVIEW] “Acclaimed fantasist Beagle (Summerlong) sets this charming, lyrical tale of unicorns and love on a poor little hillside farm in the toe of boot-shaped Italy.” —Publishers Weekly “Beagle once again explores the magic within us and the magic around us, and does it in unmatched style.” —Kurt Busiek, author of Astro City and The Avengers “What a wondrous gift it is to have a new unicorn story from Peter S. Beagle! In Calabria is both elegant and earthy . . . Once again Peter Beagle demonstrates why he is one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time!” —Bruce Coville, author of The Unicorn Chronicles Praise for Summerlong “Peter Beagle’s novel Summerlong is a lovely, tantalizing read that moves through a finely-detailed, familiar world into a tale as old and as urgent as language.” —Patricia A. McKillip, author of Dreams of Distant Shores  and Kingfisher Praise for A Fine & Private Place  “One of literature’s most beautiful works about ghostly times and places…told with wit, charm, and a sense of individuality.” —New York Times Book Review “Both sepulchral and oddly appealing…. [Beagle’s] ectoplasmic fable has a distinct mossy charm.” —TIME Magazine “One of the great fantasy novels of all time.” —ICCFA Magazine Praise for Sleight of Hand “Multiple Hugo and Nebula award–winning Beagle opens readers’ eyes to wonder with his latest collection of 13 short stories. Each piece bridges the rich intersection of fantasy and fairy tale, reality and possibility, exploring predestination, fate, and the power of love through characters that come to vivid, three-dimensional life within a few short pages.” —Library Journal “Demonstrates yet again why [Beagle’s] perhaps the finest fantasy writer at short lengths working today.” —Locus

Visit the Peter S. Beagle website.

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