SampleSunday Not Your Typical Fantasy

I love fantasy, especially if it has unicorns in it, especially if the unicorn is a force to be reckoned with. The one in Peter S. Beagle’s THE LAST UNICORN was tender BUT ALSO tough as nails. So, naturally, when I wrote my SAGE fantasy trilogy, my unicorn couldn’t be a prancy-dancy, rainbow-pooping, flower-and-sugar confection.

Bargain With Fate, Book 1 of SAGE — excerpt
Elsie meets the Unicorn
by Marian Allen

Sage 2 180She hadn’t gone far before she knew she was being followed. On the bank behind her, something moved among the trees. She couldn’t see it, but she recognized the feeling and the focus. It was the something that had driven her into the river.

She stopped and faced its coming. “I’ve left the island.” Her voice rang clear in the still air. “Let the old woman alone.”

The stars grew brighter, pierced the darkness, and traced a silhouette.

The thing among the trees was animal – monstrously large, of impossible bulk – unthinkable, that it could move so silently. The lines of its oddly balanced body were forceful and broad. Only such a column as its neck could support such a head, wide and long, of odd proportions in the imperfect light. From the center of its forehead, from between the heavy brows, from a base as broad as Elsie’s hand, thrust a spiral horn.

Unicorn. But when had “unicorn” meant such a beast as this? A plowhorse would seem a colt beside it. Its hooves were the size of dinner plates. It was the color of lead in the dimness. The whole world was the color of lead. Its eyes reflected silver, and the light seemed stronger in the reflection than in its original beams. It was terrible, indeed. And it was beautiful.

The creature’s own presence overwhelmed the Other that it carried. It enveloped the girl. Not masculine, not feminine, not both, not neither, it enfolded her; it included her. It was strength defenseless. It was tender ferocity.

This was no slave of Landry Oliva, nor of his sorceress mother. Arrogance would sink in this presence. Authority would melt. Commands would wash away like marks on wave-lapped sand. Again she felt the rest between her heartbeats filled with the beat of the creature’s heart. She felt its breath in her lungs, richer than normal air.

Book 1 – The Fall of Onagros

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Book 2 – Bargain With Fate

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Book 3 – Silver and Iron

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What do you think about fantasy? Do you like your heroines unflinchingly fearless, your unicorns fluffy and your dragons either paragons of evil or angst-ridden and misunderstood? If you like it like that, you probably won’t like SAGE.

Follow the “Read about it and sample it” links for longer excerpts than Amazon offers.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character meets a unicorn.




I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “SampleSunday Not Your Typical Fantasy

  1. jane

    January 26, 2014 at 9:08am

    SAGE is wonderful indeed, friend. If a mythological beast cannot be awesome, then what is its purpose?

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      January 26, 2014 at 9:49am

      I read Shepard’s THE LORE OF THE UNICORN for this book; the original tales of unicorns were based on very wild and impressive beasts, indeed.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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