THE SPIRAL HORN by Marion Norris Uhl


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Hold on to your helmets--this is a fantastic armory of heraldic beasts fighting for primacy on an escutcheon, a Grand Device with not-so-grand de facto counterparts. When James VI of Scotland became James I of England, there was a fuss about placement of the English lion. Scots unicorn and Welsh dragon on the Royal shield; that fuss is here transported to the Heraldic Land of Etheria and transformed into a fight featuring a Scots-accented unicorn, an old lion and a leek-y dragon. Latinisms abound, levity does not, and William, the unicorn heir, has a horny problem--he wants to be a horse. ""Where there's a will, there's a won't,"" advises someone among the many creatures, including silly gillies, a beaked Tyger, Majus the Magician, and one Dextre Agnew. Near the Tudor Hedge of Roses, Majus solves the problem, appropriately assigning dextre (right) and sinistre (left) on each side of the border, demoting the ""dangerous dragon to lethargic lizard,"" and disposing of William's horn in the process. As someone counsels earlier, ""A well-placed enchantment might prove the answer to all our troubles."" A geste with cholesterol.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday