To say that unicorn Western isn’t your run-of-the-mill book would be an understatement. The title makes it clear that it’s a merging of fantasy and western, but not where the balance lies. I would say it’s definitely a fantasy with strong western influence, rather than a western with fantasy elements, then I’m not a western reader so I could be wrong.
Regardless, the series is amazing. The first book is a little tongue in cheek, but still great fun, and then as the series progresses it becomes deeper, the stakes become higher and enjoyment rises alongside.
So what is Unicorn Western? Well, at its heart it’s a tale about a grizzled old gunslinger named Clint and his pristine white unicorn, called Edward. But don’t let that fool you. Edward is no fluffy, soft creature. He is an ancient, sarcastic and incredibly awkward entity in his own right. In many ways Clint, the weathered old marshal, is the junior partner in the relationship. The interplay between the two of them is great fun. In the main you see things from Clint’s point of view with Edward dropping hints about what is really going on with magic and the developing storyline which entice and frustrate you just as much as they do Clint.
At times Clint reminded me of David Gemmel’s John Shannow, and other times I was strongly reminded of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. While there are similarities with both, the Unicorn Western series is very much its own beast. It isn’t as dark and intense as the dark Tower series, though it has its moments, but it still had me reading nine books back to back every moment I could, and the end of the series was incredibly good, both satisfying and surprising.
I’d strongly recommend checking it out if the idea of a bad ass gunslinger taking down bad guys while his unicorn either provides him with magic shielding or, more often, watches from the sidelines not bothering to help then healing any wounds. You can pick up the first book quite cheaply, then if you enjoy it you get the entire series as a boxset which is a lot cheaper than buying the books individually and means you won’t have to mess around downloading the next book when you finish one and are desperate to find out what happened next. Overall, this series is highly recommended and great fun, and it’s one I may come back to re-read in a year or two.
The links on this page may be affiliate links (if I remembered to set them up that way). That means I’ll receive a small portion of the price, but you won’t pay a penny more and it does not influence my reviews or recommendations. I choose the books to review and recommend and only then add the affiliate link (if I remember).
For complete transparency, the Unicorn Western series was written by two of the Self Publishing Podcast presenters. I don’t have any direct links with them, but I do follow their podcast, have read two of their writing books, and am part of the smarter artist community that they run. None of this impacted on my review, but I thought was worth mentioning.