[[quoteright:316:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/unicorns_of_balinor.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:316: How's THAT for a badass unicorn?]]

A series of eight short books by Mary Stanton. They're about unicorns. [[CaptainObvious Of Balinor]].

But on a more helpful point, it's a surprisingly inventive, fantasy-steeped horse story. The series begins with the heroine Arianna (Ari for short) waking up in a hospital with both her legs broken from a horrific accident, barely recalling her own name -- and that of her horse, Chase. After encountering her collie Lincoln, [[ChekhovsGun who came with a ruby necklace]], she is discharged to Glacier Ridge Farm with her foster parents and a local doctor who makes sure her legs mend properly (Dr. Bohnes). Eventually she starts hearing a voice in her head whenever Chase is angry, having strange but nice dreams where a unicorn mare talks to her, and finding spiral-shaped pebbles around the stable.

When her foster parents decide that they need to lease Chase out to Lori, [[AlphaBitch a wealthy and snobby girl]] who's taken a shine to him, both Ari and Chase are adamantly against it despite Ari knowing that the hefty hospital bills leave them no other choice. One spectacularly bad session with an angry Chase later, the pair decide to run away to the nearby caves -- unfortunately getting followed by Lori, who won't give up until she gets Chase.

After falling through a tunnel into a strange forest, they get through it unscathed and end up in a town called Balinor. It's discovered that the animals can talk, but ever since their princess and her unicorn went missing, they have slowly begun losing their speech. Turns out that Ari ''is'' the Royal Princess and Chase is both a unicorn and the Lord of the Animals, whose horn was broken when the royal family got betrayed by the malevolent Shifter. Both the necklace and the stones Ari found were parts of Chase's horn, which she eventually restores, but that's nowhere near the end of their troubles: They still have to defeat the Shifter. When ''that's'' done, Ari needs to earn the right to continue as the Royal Princess through three trials that test her leadership and diplomatic skills -- and even when both of those tasks are done, the series ends when she begins the search for her parents.
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!!!This series contains examples of:
* AuthorAppeal: Aside from Mary Stanton's genuine horse knowledge, which isn't surprising as she owns several of them, she spends an awful lot of time describing Chase and how SUPER-SPECIAL-AWESOME he is. It's obviously platonic, though, and not exactly unusual for the genre.
* BlondesAreEvil: Lori Carmichael is selfish, whiny and immature compared to the ''[[SeriousBusiness bronze]]''-haired protagonist. However, it's not likely Lori dyes it since she is, in fact, fourteen -- and CharacterDevelopment smooths her out a bit.
* BondCreatures: Every Royal Princess is Bonded to the (current) Lord of the Animals to ensure that the [[TalkingAnimal creatures of their world can talk]]. When Ari and Chase were wounded amnesiacs recuperating in our world, it was not a good thing, but they recover.
* CapitalLettersAreMagic: The Gap, Entia the Shifter, the Shadow Unicorns, the Celestial Valley... this happens a lot.
* CarnivoreConfusion: Surprisingly averted. See {{Veganopia}} below.
* [[CoolHorse Cool Unicorn]]: Many. ''Especially'' Chase, who's pictured above.
* [[DeadlyGame Deadly Race]]: Ari and Chase enter in a steeplechase with ''five-foot tall '''burning''' fences.''
* DefangedHorrors: Kraken and the Shifter. Obviously they were meant to be scary, but Mary Stanton's writing abilities and her use of [[NauseaFuel less-than-pleasant smells or sounds]] makes her villains rather jarring.
* HeroesWantRedheads: Finn, who starts out asking Arianna far too many uncomfortable questions about [[KingIncognito herself]] and [[PaperThinDisguise her unicorn]], ends up being liked by both girls though [[spoiler:absolutely nothing comes of it at the end]].
** In a sort-of version of this trope, Finn often ends up working with Rednal, a red celestial unicorn.
* HumanityIsSuperior: While Entia likes the power of other forms, he ''really'' likes humans... especially their hands.
* [[TheMagicGoesAway The Magic Almost Goes Away]]: The animals of Balinor were starting to lose their speech by the time Ari and Chase got back.
* [[MagicMirror Magic Pool]]: Celestial Unicorn Atalanta uses one to keep track of things in Balinor.
* TheMasquerade: Inverted in the beginning -- neither Ari nor Chase even ''remembered'' who they were, and thus the masquerade was imposed upon ''them'' to ensure their safe recovery and to make sure the Shifter wouldn't find them. Played straight several times later, when using their real identities would be risky.
* ModestRoyalty: Used dead straight with Arianna, though [[TheLancer Chase]] seems to have no problem lording over people when they [[BerserkButton disrespect his mistress]].
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Lady Kylie.
* PortalNetwork: The Gap, which is not to be confused with the trendy clothes store chain.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Ari needs to do a LOT to get Balinor back in order: Fix Chase's horn, defeat the Shifter, get the palace up and running, find out which of the nobility is still loyal/alive...
* ScaledUp: Lady Kylie has this ability, in part to show just how ''eeeeevil'' she is.
* TalkingApplianceSidekick: The royal sceptre, which at first can only speak if you ask it a question, but later gains the ability to talk on its own.
* {{Unicorn}}: Well yeah.
* {{Veganopia}}: A logical conclusion since [[IntellectualAnimal the animals of Balinor]] [[TalkingAnimal can all talk]]. Probably helps that Balinor has magic to prevent vitamin deficiencies.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Entia, the Shifter.
* YouAllMeetInAnInn: While it doesn't ''start'' there, the first place Ari finds in Balinor is in fact an inn, and later uses it as her primary base of operations.
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