Guardians of the Wild Unicorns

Lindsay Littleson


Quick Look

  • Fantasy and reality collide in this exciting middle-grade novel starring the unicorns of mythology and legend
  • Unicorns with a difference! Treating them as endangered animals, this book offers a refreshing take on conservation themes
  • Can two best friends save the last of the wild unicorns from extinction? Offers alternative viewpoints from strong boy and girl characters
  • Lindsay Littleson is the author of The Mixed-Up Summer of Lily Mclean and The Awkward Autumn of Lily Mclean

Best friends Lewis and Rhona are caught up in a dangerous adventure to save the world's last herd of wild unicorns. Fighting against dark forces, battling the wild landscape, and harnessing ancient magic, can they rescue the legendary creatures in time?

Floris Books
Age Range:
From 9 to 12 years
208 pages
Publication date:
21 Feb 2019


'Across the moor galloped a huge dark beast; a heavily muscled horse with a gleaming, rippling black mane. The animal reared up, its hooves cutting the sky, its silken tail streaming like a banner. Its spiralled horn glinted in the sun.'

Lewis is cold, wet and miserable on his school residential trip in the highlands of Scotland. The last thing he expects to see is a mythical creature galloping across the bleak moorland. Unicorns aren't real... are they?

Lewis and his best friend Rhona find themselves caught up in a dangerous adventure to save the world's last herd of wild unicorns. Fighting against dark forces, battling the wild landscape, and harnessing ancient magic, can they rescue the legendary creatures in time?


'Young readers are bound to fall for Guardians of the Wild Unicorns, an adventure tale that melds the real and the fantastic with warmth and humour.'
-- The Herald

'Lewis and Rhona's heroic story is suffused with genuinely funny moments, as well as a real sense of jeopardy and some painful revelations about their personal circumstances. Set in the stunning wilderness of the Scottish Highlands, and with an underlying environmental message, this adventure thriller for middle grade readers mixes mythology and suspense in a contemporary page-turner.'
-- BookTrust

'Littleson has achieved something impressive: an entirely new and topical angle on the unicorn myth. Land ownership and land use, biodiversity and conservation issues are all explored in subtle ways, opening many possible avenues for learning to classroom teachers. But first and foremost, Guardians of the Wild Unicorns is a story -- an adventure of young people defying their fears and breaking the rules to achieve something worth fighting for. They may be insecure, lonely, incapable or burdened with responsibilities they did not seek, but their choices can make a positive difference -- an empowering concept for young readers...
Solid, sure storytelling.'
-- The Wee Review, 5 Stars

'Guardians of the Wild Unicorns is a fantastically enchanting and exciting adventure story that absolutely grips you from the first page. Set against a real and familiar background, it is a believable and engaging tale of friendship, human nature and magical unicorns... A fantastic adventure and a powerful novel which I absolutely loved!'
-- Unicorns and Kelpies Blog

'The quality of writing throughout is wonderful... This is Littleson's most assured work yet, and once again she pulls no punches as she delves deep into her leading characters' previously hidden home lives to show the resilience the youth of today require.'
-- John O'Groats Journal

'A thrilling adventure told from alternative points of view that will appeal to both boys and girls. The story is wonderfully atmospheric and mythical with a conservation undercurrent alongside complex family issues. Children will be enthralled by these magnificently wild unicorns.'
-- South Wales Evening Post

'Lindsay Littleson has been bold enough to strip away the sparkle and return the unicorn to its status as a mythical beast.'
-- West Coast Review

'A new and utterly inventive take on the unicorn myth, with not a splinter of sparkle in sight. Entertaining and atmospheric'
-- Inverness Courier

'It's magical, but also very real and gritty.'
-- Bookwitch

'A fantastic story'
-- Armadillo

'This story [is] full of hope, adventure, & purity, & is just so full of HEART. It was so heart-warming to read & was one of those books that just makes you feel good inside. Y’all should totally grab yourself a copy.'
-- Writing With Wolves

'It is a wonderful book to read. It deals with some issues affecting many children in schools, it promotes the need to protect natural wildlife from poachers and it ends with a clear message to ask questions and be open with your friends so they can be there for you. I highly recommend this book.'
-- My Shelves are Full

'It's wonderful. But it's also relevant… Sensational… It may just make a huge difference to a child’s life.'
-- Roachie's Reviews

'[The] descriptions feel so authentic that they have the reader convinced that they too, might encounter a unicorn on a stormy Highland night, and it is in bringing realism (and just the right sprinkling of magic) to something so fantastical that the power of this compelling story lies… a timely reminder of how spectacular Scotland’s wild places and creatures are – and how vital it is that we protect and respect what we have today.'
-- Roaring Reads

'A gorgeous children's book to feed their imagination. It is a heart-warming, lovely read for all ages, and as it can often be difficult to engage youngsters and foster a reading habit this may be a suitable place to start for those with an interest in beautiful mythological creatures such an unicorns.'
-- NetGalley Reviewer

'A very nice young adult fantasy novel… The characters were well developed and the story made me keep reading until its very satisfying conclusion.'
-- NetGalley Reviewer

'A brilliant mix of mythical creatures (that might just exist) and young people who are having to cope with some very complex issues in their lives. It is highly recommended and is a real 'keeper'.'
-- NetGalley Librarian

'There were so many elements I loved about this story: the authenticity of Lewis and Rhona's friendship; a refreshingly different portrayal of unicorns with a modern twist; the representation of the Scottish Highlands; and, as I am a teacher, the depiction of the joys of a school residential! I will definitely be purchasing this for my class and school library. I would highly recommend it to children of 8+.'
-- NetGalley Educator

'This is a super book, and one that I'll be recommending widely as a must-read this summer… I'm really looking forward to reading more by this author.'
-- NetGalley Bookseller

'I like the non-traditional unicorn. This is likely a book I would have read over and over again in middle school.'
-- NetGalley Reviewer

'I had a lot of fun reading Guardians of the Wild Unicorns. This tale starts off on a good foot, and only gets better as it unfolds... Readers who enjoy fantasy will definitely want to check this book out.'
-- The Good Men Project

'This is a wonderful book for middle grade readers, especially those that still believe in magic! A terrific portrayal of friendship, compassion, and courage. The characters are likable, even for adults, and the plot is quick moving, so it will keep even the most unmotivated reader interested.
A secondary theme in this book is that of animal conservation, and the importance of preserving our wildlife populations, even though the wildlife in the book is a pack (herd?) of unicorns. I think the science/animal lovers in any classroom will feel overjoyed at this concept wrapped up in a fantasy novel.'
-- NetGalley Reviewer


Lindsay Littleson is a primary school teacher in Renfrewshire, Scotland. After taking up writing for children in early 2014 she won the Kelpies Prize for new Scottish writing for children with her first children's novel, The Mixed-Up Summer of Lily McLean, and the sequel, The Awkward Autumn of Lily McLean.

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