The story you’ve never read and the story you’ve read repeatedly are now one and the same with Tachyon Publications’ beautifully imagined release of “The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey.”

Issuing a 50th anniversary commemorative edition of Peter S. Beagle’s seminal fantasy novel might seem an obvious way for a publishing house to boost its end-of-year numbers, but not so obvious is putting forth the effort to make that edition “special” by offering the 85-page genesis of the story from a then-23-year-old Beagle. Wrapping this in a package of original illustrations by Stephanie Law and tributes from the likes of fantasy authors Patrick Rothfuss and Carrie Vaughn — with a jacket blurb from Neil Gaiman — does justice to this hardcover edition.

Further justice is done by offering a signed limited edition at $100 from the publisher in addition to the $21.95 everyday copy.

Those uninitiated with the 1968 story of a single unicorn’s journey to discover if she is the last of her kind may be hard to find, but reinvigorating that story with the author’s original is a journey of a different sort, and one worth taking.

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