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Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar
Brave Jack and the Unicorn - Janet McNaughton,  Susan Tooke (Illustrator) Jack is not as handsome or as clever as his older brothers, but he is kind. The title of this traditional third-son-makes-good as almost a misnomer; although Jack is reasonably brave, it is his kindness that characterizes him and allows him to succeed on his rather accidental quest.

After his older brothers fail to return from seeking their fortunes, Jack's unloving mother sends him to find them. As is often the case in stories of this sort, Jack performs acts of generosity or kindness towards various inhabitants of the natural and supernatural worlds which will pay off during later challenges. Jack is almost ego-less. He seems to think nothing of his own good deeds, and even when he hears about a princess available for marriage to whomever can pass three tests, he does not consider winning her but only deduces that this is where his brothers have gone. After he meets the princess, he is motivated to accept the impossible tasks not by love but out of pity for her imprisonment.

At this point the initiative in the story actually shifts to the princess, whose knowledge and initiative help Jack to succeed and guide their escape from the evil magician. She also takes the romantic lead in their relationship. Although Jack is the hero of the tale, the princess supplies talents and personality traits which complement his -- a rather wonderful depiction of marriage and governance.