The Last Unicorn: Minimalism Done Slightly Better

Ah, The Last Unicorn. I’ve genuinely forgotten if I’ve reviewed this book yet or not. If I haven’t, then I’m gonna need to fix that sometime soon. But for now, let’s just take a good look at the cover.

At first glance, this is another ‘A Game of Thrones’ situation, where the cover was put together without much artistic thought. More utility than appearance. However, there is a bit more depth to this one than you might realize. Not much, granted, it still isn’t an especially amazing cover. But it does a better job than others of its style.

There might be better versions of the cover,
but this is the one I have, so we’re going with
this one.

The first thing that stands out (and the only thing that stands out, since it’s the only thing there) is the unicorn itself. I really hope I don’t need to explain the symbolism here. Just as the title suggests, this is the last unicorn. Completely alone.

A more subtle detail is the style of the drawing itself. Notice how it’s mostly drawn in silhouette rather than a detailed rendition of an actual unicorn. This could suggest that the unicorn on the cover is an artistic interpretation, as the actual creature is so rare and elusive that no one has ever seen it. It gives it a nice little air of mystery and magic, leaving the accuracy of the drawing entirely to the reader’s imagination.

The texture of the cover lends itself well to that interpretation. It has the appearance of an old, yellowed page, like a scroll or an aged letter you’d see in a typical fantasy story. This gives the cover a sense of age, creating the feeling that this is an old story that’s likely been told many times. It’s a nice detail, one that gives it much more depth than other covers of this type have.

Unfortunately, that’s about it here. This cover does little to clue you in on the story or tone of the book behind it. It does have a bit of depth to it, so it isn’t the worst cover I’ve ever seen. But for a story like this, I feel like a more intricate cover could have done it more justice.

Although I won’t lie: it looks really good on a shelf. Maybe I should add that as a criteria…

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