Myth and fantasy stories at bedtime have their place in culture as a means to educate our children on our shared beliefs and values. How else are children to grow strong, straight and look after their parents in old-age? Katrina Joyner is a prolific author and native American who weaves carefully plotted yarns with believable heroes, heroines and crude-dude bad guys. Only The Innocent is her latest well-crafted tale, a fast read that keeps the boogy-man locked in the closet after he tries to sneak under the bed.
As other reviewers will tell you, this is a fantasy tale of how to hunt for a unicorn in a dark forest on order from the king. Alas, the rules of unicorn hunting are strict, fraught with faeries and their weirding ways, true to the scent of innocence. It's a perfect tale for pre-teen girls, no matter how old you are, or to rekindle the innocence that remains a hallmark of our human spirit. Only... is also a trigger for a conversation between mothers and daughters when dad is best left out of earshot.
One historical note: the Celts and the Etruscans were much inclined to give women equal footing and equal rights, while the Greeks and Romans were famous for locking their women inside, lest they inflame an ardent and uncontrolled young man. The personal evolution from beastly nature to bliss-inducing love can take nourishment from this tale. No matter which side of history you fall upon, please trust Katrina Joyner's fun little read to instruct you on your next unicorn hunt. Personally I prefer to keep my unicorns fawning at the edge of the forest while I picnic in the glade. Four stars.