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The Natural History of Unicorns By Chris Lavers

In 398 BC, when Ctesias of Cnidus described a creature known as the Indian Ass, he defined a beast known through the rest of time as the unicorn. The Natural History of Unicorns digs deep into the physical characteristics, geographical distribution, and mystical stature of the unicorn. While fabled reports of the unicorn were probably an amalgamation of accounts of the Kiang, Chiru, and Rhinoceros, people were not willing to give up on its existence. The royal families in Europe who collected alicorns (unicorn horns), which were worth 10x their weight in gold, and the many references to unicorns in the Bible and Christian symbolism, kept its power alive. Even if all the stories of unicorns were truly an invention of the imagination, this fascinating and well-researched book is still worth reading for any history buff or unicorn enthusiast! Back to Book Reviews

The Faithful Executioner by Joel Harrington

Frantz Schmidt was a complex man. He spent his life in quest of honor, holding fast to his religious convictions, but earning a living as a career killer. His father was an executioner, and in 1554 that meant he would inherit that profession. Executioners dealt out justice for towns that looked down on them. They weren’t allowed to hold citizenship, enter churches, or live within the city walls. Frantz kept a journal for 45 years, chronicling the 394 executions he performed and the personal anguish they wrought. With great psychological fortitude he respected his duty to the violent job he despised. This book is a fascinating account of a man trying to reconcile the hopes he had for his life with the dishonorable curse he was born into. Back to Book Reviews

Severed by Frances Larson

I'm not afraid to admit my love for the peculiar things in life. Maybe more accurately, the peculiar things in death, and there was much for me to love about this book. You'd imagine it is rather atypical to misplace one's head after the final curtain call - but you'd be wrong. Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found, chronicles the bodiless journeys of all types of heads: shrunken heads, dissected heads, trophy heads, deposed heads, and many more! This book so fully satisfies the need to know more about humanity's morbid fascination with our most distinctive attribute, our head - on a historical level, a comical level, and a slight unnerving level! Back to Book Reviews Save