The Way Home by Peter S. Beagle #BookReview #fantsay #novellas

Renowned author Peter S. Beagle returns to the world of The Last Unicorn in this resonant and moving two-novella collection, featuring the award-winning “Two Hearts” and the brand-new “Sooz.”

The Last Unicorn is one of fantasy’s most revered classics, beloved by generations of readers and with millions of copies in print. Revisiting the world of that novel, Beagle’s long-awaited Hugo and Nebula-Awards-winning “Two Hearts” introduced the irrepressible Sooz on a quest to save her village from a griffin and explored the bonds she formed with unforgettable characters like the wise and wonderful Molly Grue and Schmendrick the Magician.

In the never-before-published “Sooz,” the events of “Two Hearts” are years behind its narrator, but a perilous journey lies ahead of her in a story that is at once a tender meditation on love and loss and a lesson in finding your true self.

The Way Home is suffused with Beagle’s wisdom, profound lyricism, and sly wit; and collects two timeless works of fantasy.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

The Way Home by Peter S. Beagle is a book containing two fantasy novellas from the world of The Last Unicorn. The Last Unicorn is a poignant fantasy series that originally riveted me when I was still a kid, and The Way Home continued that reading journey.

My Reading Experience:

The first novella, Two Hearts, warmed my heart as a brave little 9-year-old Sooz, determined to stop the griffin that stole many of the village’s children, never to be seen again, ventured out on her own to get the King. Surely the King could get rid of the beast since his knights had failed to do so. I loved her pluck and moxie, especially in one so young. She is a brave hero – braver than any adults in her village. 

The pace is fast, and the narration is done in the first person, with Sooz telling her story. I loved this personalized angle; it added so much and increased my love for this young hero. She never doubts and never waivers. I also just adored the bond she has with the family dog Malka. That bond warmed my heart even more than Sooz’s pure determination.

The second novella, Sooz, broke my heart, which the first novella had previously warmed, and it touched on emotions that left me in quite a funk. Sooz is now 17 and follows a task given to her at the end of the first novella, and this task starts her on another journey that takes her into the fae world.

The world of the fae is depicted as similar to a dream state, where events are a bit disjointed, and the unimaginable is real. I loved the depiction of this world as it instantly pulled me in and immersed me in the foggy atmosphere of the dream-like world. Again, children are being stolen, but instead of by a hungry griffin, they are being taken by the fae, and another child conjured from some natural item, like a log, is left in place of the child born.

Sooz discovers a connection to the fae that she never anticipated. That takes her on a journey to recover one such stolen child that broke my heart many times over. The poignancy of that journey, the beings she met, and the relationships forged and lost overwhelmed my senses.

Sooz again does the narration, and it sounds like her older self is telling the story looking back on her younger self. The pace was slower in this novella as the atmosphere boggled my reading with its prominence and depth. But ultimately, the theme of finding your way home reverberated and left a lasting impression on me.

Read if you like:

  • Immersive fantasy stories
  • Magical creatures and beings
  • Fantasy stories that touch your heart

Ratings: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

Writing Quality10
Character Development8
‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness10
Use of Setting10
All scores, except the overall rating, are on a scale of 1-10. The overall rating is converted to the standard 5-point system.

16 Replies to “The Way Home by Peter S. Beagle #BookReview #fantsay #novellas”

    1. It’s very moving. I had forgotten about The Last Unicorn – it was so long ago – but this brought that back.


    1. I watched the movie when I was a kid – sometime around the late 70s early 80s I think though I’m not sure if I read the book. Knowing me I probably did. 😂


  1. I’ve never heard of the original books. I’m currently rereading a bunch of books I read in my youth, so I think I’ll add them to that TBR. Great review!


  2. Of all the fantasies, the Fae world is the most comp,ex to grasp, at least for me. And. It’s one of my favorites. Soon seems like a wonderful character and I love that this series is an emotional rollercoaster. Beautiful review, Tessa💜


  3. It’s interesting how the two novellas, first and second, were so different in tone. Reading them, especially the second, sounds like an emotional experience!


  4. Wonderful review, Tessa. I have never read The Last Unicorn, but maybe I need to. I’m glad you enjoyed these novellas.

    Liked by 1 person

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