Unicorns are Not for the Faint-Hearted
Nav’Aria: The Marked Heir by K.J. Backer
Narrated by Sean Thornton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A World of Fantasy
Welcome to Darian’s world, a typical teenager dealing with hormones, resentment, and let’s not forget pimples. But, Darian’s worries become trivial in comparison to a battle against good and evil that may rely on his help.
Darian discovers his destiny when he is thrown into Nav’Aria – a magical world with centaurs, trolls, fairies, and yes, unicorns. As Darian must forget all he knows about his previous life, us readers should forget most everything we know about gentle, mythical unicorns.
Teenagers are Unicorns
K.J. Backer’s unicorns make an apt analogy of the emotions many young adults are wrought with compared to many people’s initial perception of the mythical animals. Much like the unicorns, Darian, the teenage boy, has stronger characteristics than anyone would initially perceive at a glance. Darian and the unicorns in this book share strength, determination, intelligence, and an aptitude for leadership. Readers can misjudge Darian and the unicorns at first glance, yet both have massive potential.
Nav’Aria is a place where impossible ideas, creatures, and dreams come to life. The world is Darian’s escape from the harsh reality of being a teenager. Nav’Aria gives him the opportunity of a new life, full of adventure. But, Darian also has great responsibility as he defends a kingdom and his heritage from an evil usurper. Much like becoming an adult in normal life, teenagers can branch out on their own, choosing a life they can be proud of, if they are willing to put in the work and take responsibility for themselves.
For any teenager who dreams of a new life, this is the book for them. No longer will unicorns appeal only to girls with strong, battle-warring, intelligent unicorns to bond with. Every boy and girl, young and old, will be wanting a unicorn as a best friend and trusted advisor.
The book is not labeled YA. However, the main character is a young adult who deals with familiar, tropic insecurities. This allows the novel to appeal to YA fans while also including adult, fantasy fiction enthusiasts.
About the Author
Learn more about K.J. Backer in this exclusive author interview. See what other books readers can look forward to in the future.
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I actually don’t know much about unicorns, other than the little bit you read in Harry Potter. So I think this book would be a good read to learn about them. Thank you for sharing your interview with Ms. Backer!
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of work centralized around unicorns (at least not from my own reading, which may be limited by the genres I read). However, most folklore around unicorns show them as being docile creatures that only allow the purest of hearts to approach them and their magical powers. I liked learning this alternate version of unicorns from Backer.
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