Review Blog

Nov 03 2011

Unicorn riders series by Aleesah Darlison

cover image

Ill. by Jill Brailsford. Walker Books, 2011.
(Age 7-10) Recommended. Four young girls, Willow, Ellabeth, Quinn and Krystal and their magical unicorns feature in this fascinating series for young girls. The young unicorn riders live in the kingdom of Avamay and are sent off on dangerous missions when their country and its people are in danger. Not only do they have action packed adventures, each girl manages to find her inner strength, overcoming fears and obstacles and becoming stronger in themselves.
I really enjoyed the books in this series. I loved how the girls were introduced in the front of each book. Each girl has her own symbol, which fits with her personality, her own uniform colour and special gifts. The unicorns too have different horns and special gifts, which help the girls on their missions. Young girls will have fun deciding which rider most appeals to them and which personality most fits their own and their friends. Jill Brailsford's illustrations have ensured that the reader has a clear picture in her head of the different girls and their personalities shine through the simple black line drawings. The girls' large eyes are sure to appeal to young readers and each has a distinct hairstyle. The unicorns, too, are quite unique both in their appearance and personality.
The girls are courageous and bright and have a wonderful relationship with their unicorns. Each book features a different girl and her unicorn, facing danger and becoming more self-confident and self-reliant. Quinn must solve riddles in the first in the series,Quinn's riddles. Girls will love the challenge of trying to work out what the message is in the rhymes that the Prince's kidnappers send. Willow learns how to forgive her uncle in the second story Willow's challenge, while managing to lead the riders and save the town of Arlen. In Krystal's choice, Krystal has to decide whether she wants to be a Rider and in Ellabeth's test, Ellabeth must overcome her self doubts, and learn how to be a leader when Willow is injured.
This is an excellent series for young girls. It combines all the ingredients that make for a good read - magical creatures, adventurous girls and dangerous missions as well as giving girls the opportunity to think about issues such as forgiveness, leadership, family and what is important in life.
The books are:
Quinn's riddles by Aleesah Darlison. Walker Books, 2011. ISBN 9781921529979.
Willow's challenge by Aleesah Darlison. Walker Books, 2011. ISBN 9781921529986.
Ellabeth's test by Aleesah Darlison. Walker Books, 2011. ISBN 9781921720000.
Krystal's choice by Aleesah Darlison. Walker Books, 2011. ISBN 9781921529993.
Pat Pledger

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