The Unicorn, the Mystery: A novel by Janet Mason

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Adelaide Books

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Pub date October 7, 2020

ISBN 978-1953510259

Price $19.60 (USD) Paperback, $7.60 Kindle edition

Book excerpt

Award-winning Mason speculates about the “unsolved mystery” behind the story of “The Hunt of the Unicorn,” the set of seven tapestries from the 1500s on display in “the unicorn room” in The Cloister in Manhattan, now part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in her deeply engrossing latest. Told from the alternating perspectives of the unicorn and a quirky young monk, the novel delves into the latter’s unwavering devotion for the former, which ultimately leads to its capture by a band of hunters. Weaving together the elements of theology into the story, “The Hunt of the Unicorn”, Mason crafts a classic tale of love, lust, passion, and humility. She paints a poignant portrait of an unlikely friendship between a mystic animal and a young boy, leading to the former’s eventual downfall. In addition to the central story of the unicorn and the young monk, Mason explores the themes of bigotry, vanity, guilt, redemption, and homosexuality. The strong narrative line and transportive scenes of medieval life in the abbey keep the reader thoroughly invested. With its lyrical cadences and intensity, the novel makes for a suspenseful and moving illumination of the unicorn’s fate as related in the Unicorn Tapestries.

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