The well known mages travel from village to village, seeking out those pure of heart between the age of 10 and 15. Jiline and Madelen fear being chosen, but for differing reasons.
Jiline has no desire to be chosen for a life of keeping the unicorns safe, a form of imprisonment against her choosing. Madelen is spoken for, ready to marry her love, the mayor’s son.
A magical orb is utilised to find those who are pure of heart; lighting up as it passes by the individual. Jiline finds after the mages’ visit that it is her parents’ desire that she goes. There are no male prospects for her and no apprenticeships she can undertake. She would become a burden for her family as she aged.
When Madelen is chosen and Jiline isn’t, a plan forms between the two girls that look alike. Jiline questions if she will be found out; a fraud heading for the unicorn keep.
When she arrives and starts the gruelling tests to become a unicorn keeper, she finds many questions are raised about the unicorns and how they are protected. It seems that the mages aren’t what they proclaim to be, and as one mage finds himself drawn to Jiline, further questions are raised about how this link is possible.
Unicorn Keep aptly explores a mystical world in which magic is well used, but not gifted upon everyone. It is a great mix of adventure, mystery and a little romance.
The story ends just where a second follow on novel could easily pick up.
“My words and my ideas are my property, and I’ll keep and protect them as surely as I do my stable of unicorns.” – Jarod Kintz