The Unicorn Chronicles is a young adult series by fantasy writer Bruce Coville, chronicling the journey of a young girl named Cara through Luster, a land populated primarily byunicorns. Pursued by mysterious forces, she is forced to leave behind her life as an Ordinary High-School Student and is sent to Luster by her grandmother with a mission to deliver a message to the Old One. Along the way, she uncovers the history of Luster and the unicorns, as well as some amazing things about her own family.As of the present, the books are:
Into the Land of the Unicorns (1994)
The Song of the Wanderer (1999)
Dark Whispers (2008)
The Last Hunt (2010)
Also, Coville's anthology A Glory of Unicorns includes a short story about the Guardian of Memory, told from Ivy Morris's point of view.
The Big Guy: The Dimblethum in the first book. He shares the position with Finder in the second.
Chekhov's Gun: Cara's missing last name, and the song that Medafil's shell sings
Chronic Hero Syndrome: Unicorns are drawn to distressed maidens by instinct ( this is how Moonheart first meets "Ivy Morris", by the way). Knowing this, Hunters often use young girls as bait to lure out unicorns.
Dating Catwoman: And at least initially, it worked out. Cara's maternal grandmother was a unicorn permanently transformed into a human, and the connection to unicorns seems to have passed itself down to the succeeding two generations. Cara's father was a descendant of, and follower of, Beloved, and a hunter of unicorns. It seems the parents never learned each other's secrets, but the mother is long gone when the story starts. However, she returns by the end of the series.
Fate Worse than Death: A unicorn heals wounds by piercing the injury with its horn, leaving a star-shaped scar. The process is incredibly painful, but only for a moment. So what would happen if the horn broke off in the injury and could not be removed? Beloved is immortal with the horn in her heart, but the pain never leaves her.
Foreshadowing: In the very first book, the Dimblethum's introduction describes him as resembling nothing so much as "a man that started to turn into a bear, but stopped before the process was complete." In the final book, it's revealed that that's almost exactly the case.
Grumpy Old Man: Moonheart. He's got the personality, but it's not clear whether he qualifies as "old" by unicorn standards. Younger unicorn Lightfoot certainly thinks of him this way. Grimwold the dwarf is a more obvious example of this trope.
Half-Human Hybrid: Due to the true nature of her grandmother, Cara is part unicorn (it's complicated). Also, the Dimblethum has the appearance of being half-human and half-bear, but it's unknown why he's that way.
Heart Trauma: In order to communicate with unicorns, your heart must be pierced by a unicorn's horn.
Schedule Slip: Fiveish years between the first book and the second, and another nine years between the second and the third. The fourth came out two years from the third's publication. If you were a child when the first book came out, you've probably graduated from college by now.
Soul Jar: Cara briefly carries a dragon's soul jar in the first book, and astonishes the dragon by immediately returning it. In gratitude, the dragon grants her the gift of languages.
Take Our Word for It: In the first book (two pages from the end) Cara and her companions make the final trip to Summerhaven. We're told that the journey there was "filled with marvels and wonders" and get no elaboration on any of it.
What Happened to the Mouse?: in Song of the Wanderer, We hear the story of one of Luster's dragons, who has been trying to get to the world created for dragons, where his lover went. His story is never resolved.