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Topic: Here's a phrase you don't hear every day . . .

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Subject: Here's a phrase you don't hear every day . . .
Date Posted: 2/25/2009 1:12 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2006
Posts: 1,305
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I was doing some editing, adding descriptions to science fiction books.  I ran across this description for Brothers of the Dragon:

Caught in a war between dragon-riders and bloodthirsty unicorns, two brothers trained in martial arts lead the forces of Light toward victory.

Bloodthirsty unicorns?  Have you ever heard of unicorns being anything but good and kind and sweet?  A later phrase described them as rough-scaled, red-eyed and lethal.  Scales?  Are they really talking about unicorns here?  Has anyone read this book.  I hate to have to read it just to find out what kind of unicorn has scales!

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 1:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,476
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I've heard of unicorns being nasty.  Some of the old myths have them skewering anyone that came near the virgins.  One fantasy writer had rather nasty ones, was it Sheri Tepper? 

I think there is even blood on the horn of one in those 13th century tapestries.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 2/25/2009 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I am not up on all my legends, but I thought unicorns were supposed to be beautiful, but treacherous and deadly.

Date Posted: 2/25/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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In Catholic iconograohy, they often represented Christ.  In secular art, they were used to represent chastity, or courtly love - tamable only by a virgin. 

I found a really lovely website featuring the Unicorn Tapestries, if anyone is interested:  http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/unicorn/unicorn_inside.htm They are really worth a visit, if you're in NY