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Summary

Soar into a breathtaking world of heroes and ferocious unicorns in this first book in the hotly anticipated fantasy adventure series for fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Amari and the Night Brothers.

Thirteen-year-old Skandar Smith has only ever wanted to be a unicorn rider. To be one of the lucky few selected to hatch a unicorn. To bond with it for life, to train together and race for glory, to be a hero.

But just as Skandar’s dream is about to come true, things start to take a more dangerous turn than he could ever have imagined. A dark and twisted enemy has stolen the Island’s most powerful unicorn—and as the threat grows ever closer, Skandar discovers a secret that could blow apart his world forever.....

Get ready for unlikely heroes, elemental magic, sky battles, ancient secrets, nail-biting races and ferocious unicorns in this epic adventure series that will have your heart soaring.

©2022 A.F. Steadman (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, UK

What listeners say about Skandar and the Unicorn Thief

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loyalties tested

bought this to listen to before letting my 9 year old read it. After about 20 minutrs litening I bought the book. Two nights later my son came down stairs looking worried. He has a crazy imagination and I was initially worried that he had been having a nightmare, " Dad can I tell you something" "of course" I said, "I think I like this more than Harry Potter but it doesn't mean that I don't still love Harry Potter, Is that Ok, can I do that"
poor little guy, I felt the same when I read Robin Hobb after George R RMartin.

1 person found this helpful

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An amazing book for adults and children

I absolutely loved this book. It's the best middle-grade book I've read since Harry Potter. If you like that kind of story with magical schools and house systems and incredible creatures and adventure and characters fulfilling their destiny, you will love this! The audio reading was very well done.

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Brilliant

Like Harry Potter, But much better in ways. Loved!

Such well rounded characters. Totally took me in!

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Stunning book!!

Truly amazing book, unique story and we will miss the Island and the quartet until next time x

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Exciting

This book was really interesting and very well narrated. It was difficult to end each days listening.

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Close But No Cigar...

I enjoyed this. it was a lot of fun, but there are far too many problematic, impossible to suspend disbelief moments because of poor literary devices/narrative choices etc. Backstory was complex, rushed yet not properly resolved in a believable way. A real shame. Still, concept is nice. Definitely does not live up to the industry hype, and oh, how I wish it had!

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Mixed feelings

I enjoyed listening to this and there is a lot to like here, especially for children. The story moves along at a good pace and the characters of the four main young people are great. I loved the unicorns. The narration is well handled However when a book receives such publicity it is hard not to feel a little disappointed.

Many aspects of the story have been done before (and better) by other writers. For example the bonding between fantastic beast and human has been done by Mercedes Lackey in the Valdemar series and by Ann McCaffrey in her Pern series. The impact of the death of one of the bonded pair is handled more effectively in both the above series. The death of sentinels, a major event in Skandar and the Unicorn Thief also lacks the power achieved by Lackey when writing about the death of the Heralds in Valdemar.

Harry Potter is the most talked about comparison and of course both have a boy hero with a sad family background, transported to a magical land where he makes friends, meets fantastic beasts and with their aid tackles an evil villain and rights wrongs. The pace of this story feels a bit rushed compared to HP and sadly the lesser characters, so brilliantly handled by JK Rowling, lack substance here.

So overall, although enjoyable enough, this book left me feeling that it could have been much, much better.


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45 year old man enjoys unicorn adventure.

Got this for my daughter because “UNICORNS!” But I wanted to listen to some of it because she’s six so maybe too young.
I started this book at the beginning of a long car journey and was enjoying it enough to listen all the way to the end in less than 24 hours.

The unicorns in this book, while magical, are somewhat volatile and unpredictable making them believable as animals and the main setting really captured my imagination. We’ve all seen and read about Forrest dwellings before but i think this took them up a notch. There was striking action and images, a distant creepy villain, likeable, layered characters, and the last few chapters were fantastically gripping. I was listening to the end wondering around a John Lewis and must have been so consumed I looked a bit odd because I was approached by security. So all in all, glad I listened. I was entertained, I was excited, I was asked to leave a shop.

Whether it’s suitable for the six year old, time will tell. I’m going to risk it but considering reading it to her myself. Nothing against the narration, which is perfect, but I think she will need to ask questions to follow the story, it’s quite scary nearish the start, a touch gruesome in places with some pretty heavy themes, but it’s a book I’m looking forward to reading her and not many make that list.