The Dragon and the Unicorn by A.A. Attanasio
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I remember reading this back around 20 years ago and being blown away by the epic-level magic, the mixing of mythologies, and the beautiful core of this retelling of the Arthurian legend.
On re-read, I'm no less blown away.
There's so much to love in this. We get the genealogies of angels and demons under a very creative worldbuilding banner, the genealogies of Arthur's ancestors and the world into which he was born, a LOT of the extremely interesting take on Merlin, the demon who lives backwards, and especially Arthur's (or rather, Arthor's) parents and their peaceful mix of the ancient Druidic magics and Christianity.
Every page in this book shows a love of ALL mythologies and the desire to include them all under a single banner, just like the High King did for all the savages. The mirroring is gorgeous.
I look at so many modern epic fantasies and it's hard not to think we've lost something by comparison. I'm not saying the focus on Christianity is the thing that's missing. I'm saying the RICHNESS of it and all the others is what's missing, interwoven in a truly archetypal and gorgeous plethora of storytelling. :)
Granted, I didn't truly fall into the magic of this book until around half-way through, the slow build really aided in my love for the rest.
The magic in this book, even by today's jaded consumption of magic... is still quite amazing. There are always limits, balances, and rules.
I can't wait to read on.
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