Jun 19, 2009


A Book of the Change
by Steven R. Boyett

Ariel is a post-apocalyptic fantasy. The world has suddenly changed. Modern technology no longer works- electricity, firearms, cars, etc.- and magic has come into the world. (It's really cool that the author laid out rules -like the laws of physics- for how the magic worked, too.) Chaos and confusion is everywhere, as mythical beasts stalk the land and bullies wrest scant resources from others. The main character, Pete, manages to survive the turmoil of the first few years after "the Change" and is on his own until one day he comes across a unicorn. A beautiful, graceful, magical creature- who is also stubborn, frank, cracks jokes and likes to swear. They strike up a friendship and travel together, eventually adding to their party a bumbling kid who thinks he has to kill a dragon and a woman named Shaughnessy. Like many fantasy novels, it winds down to a battle between the good guys and the bad guys- Pete has to learn swordsmanship from a martial arts master, trek on foot from Atlanta to New York City, choose his friends wisely and avoid his enemies. It turns out that the bad guys want to capture the unicorn, and even if he can keep her away from them, he might loose her to a human relationship- as he and Shaughnessy begin to find each other attractive- but only a virgin can be a unicorn's companion... This novel is just amazing. Full of adventure, great characters, a wonderful tale of friendship and loyalties.

What's even more fantastic is that I just found out the author wrote a sequel, Elegy Beach, coming out in November. I can't find a synopsis of it anywhere online, though...

Rating: 5/5 ........ 325 pages, 1983


  1. Love it! Nothing like tossing unicorns into an apocalypse to make a book worth reading. :P Adding it to my list!

  2. Anonymous6/20/2009

    Ariel is being reprinted with restored material & an afterword. A website is coming -- take a look at http://www.arielbook.com

  3. Jenny- yup! it's great.

    Anonymous- thanks for the info. I knew the book had been re-released w/an afterword, I wasn't aware of the "restored material." Does that mean passages included the editor cut out before?

  4. Anonymous6/21/2009

    It is essentially the digital edition, with a section about the character George and his family restored. Apparently a lot was cut before the book was ever published but Boyett is okay with that (he says it was too long anyhow).

    The Afterword and notes have been updated for this edition, along with some minor corrections in the book. Boyett has talked about it in his newsletter.

    The sequel is supposed to be great. After 25 years I hope so!

  5. I know this is quite an old post, but I just found your blog and am making my through it. I don't usually enjoy fantasy novels, but this sounds great. I can't wait to get my hands on it. :)

  6. I welcome comments on all posts, old or new! Ariel is one of my favorite fantasy novels.


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