The Transfigured Hart
by Jane Yolen
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Pub Date 12 Jun 2018 | Archive Date 19 Jun 2018
Tachyon Publications, Particle Books/Tachyon Publications
“The mythology of unicorns is cleverly interwoven with the modern
elements. This, combined with a strikingly beautiful and simple style,
leave the reader with the feeling of having experienced something
magical. And the real magic lies in the mastery of Yolen's
Is what Richard saw in the woods really a unicorn? Beloved fantasy legend Jane Yolen (The Devil's Arithmetic, Sister Light, Sister Dark) offers an unexpected answer in this perfect jewel of a coming-of-age story. The Transfigured Hart bridges the wondrous in-between world where adults rediscover childhood wonder and children discover new favorite tales.
Heather and Richard have little in common. A voracious reader growing up in a large house filled with books, Richard is a sickly child who prefers to be solitary. Heather is comfortable in a crowd, but nonetheless sneaks away on her appaloosa pony for lone adventures in woods.
One evening after dinner, Richard spies a strange, white deer in the fading light of the woods. It leaps away into the thick brush, but Richard is certain of what he’s seen: a unicorn. And Heather—out for a ride—has also spotted the unusual stag.
Heather and Richard cannot agree on what they've seen. They definitely do not want to share their secret. But they will soon discover that their assistance is much-needed indeed.
A Note From the Publisher
Praise for The Transfigured Hart
“The mythology of unicorns is cleverly interwoven with the modern elements. This, combined with a strikingly beautiful and simple style, leave the reader with the feeling of having experienced something magical. And the real magic lies in the mastery of Yolen's storytelling.”
“With compelling descriptions of the forest, nature, and the animal in question, this book took me on a short journey into imagination and even left me wondering if those kids hadn’t indeed seen a unicorn.”
“I was delighted by Yolen’s brevity and lyricism, two devices that are often at loggerheads but that Yolen marries effortlessly. . . the subtlety of the magic, and . . . Yolen sets a precedent for the power of belief (“Believing. It takes practice” [Yolen, 65]), so that when the reader arrives at the fantastical climax, they rely on their power of belief to carry them through the magic.”
—Book Banshee reviews
Praise for Jane Yolen
“The Hans Christian Andersen of America”
“The Aesop of the twentieth century”
—The New York Times
“Jane Yolen is a gem in the diadem of science fiction and fantasy.”
Praise for The Emerald Circus
“The best book I’ve read in a long time.”
—Brandon Sanderson, author of Mistborn
[STARRED REVIEW] “VERDICT: These highly entertaining retellings are perfect for teens fans of fairy tales and classic literature, though they are easily enjoyed without any background knowledge.”
—School Library Journal
[STARRED REVIEW] "VERDICT: These delightful retellings of favorite stories will captivate newcomers and fans of Yolen as she once again delivers the magic, humor, and lovely prose that has attracted readers for years.”
Praise for The Devil’s Arithmetic
“The book’s simplicity is its strength; no comment is needed because the facts speak for themselves. This brave and powerful book has much it can teach a young audience.”
“A triumphantly moving book.”
[STARRED REVIEW] “[Yolen] adds much to understanding the effects of the Holocaust, which will reverberate throughout history, today and tomorrow.”
—School Library Journal
Praise for Sister Emily’s Lightship
“This is [Yolen’s] first collection of genre stories for adults and it has been worth the wait.”
“An outstanding collection.”
—Voice of Youth Advocates
Praise for Briar Rose
―The Washington Post
“Both heartbreaking and heartwarming, Yolen’s novel is a compelling reminder of the Holocaust as well as a contemporary tale of secrets and romance.”
Praise for Stone Angel
“[STARRED REVIEW] This story provides a wonderful addition to materials about World War II and the Holocaust, and is appropriate for even the gentlest of readers.”
—School Library Connection
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 21 members
ARC Copy...very much contains the magic meets "real world" wonder in a bite size serving. Very good unicorn read.
Richard vive nei libri.
Silenzioso, curioso, timido, ama la pagina scritta, indifferente o infastidito dai coetanei con cui non ha potuto giocare a lungo, malato.
Heather ama il mondo, in tutte le sue espressioni.
Animali, luce, alberi, persone, acqua che scorre, la musica della natura sono il suo pane quotidiano.
M quando si incontrano si sentono immediatamente uniti dalla meraviglia: quella di un animale bianco, luminoso, bellissimo, che solo loro hanno visto - un cervo albino, come crede prosaicamente Heather, o un unicorno, come suggerisce Richard?
Nel periodo liminare che scivola dall'infanzia all'adolescenza, i due bambini/ragazzi cambiano, nella scoperta di sé e dell'altro, e nella necessità di proteggere la vera magia: quella in cui credono, reale o meno.
Una storia delicata e senza tempo, che conferma (se ce ne fosse bisogno) la ricchezza di temi e stile di una delle grandi narratrici del nostro tempo.
While Jane Yolen first had The Transfigured Hart published in 1975; this short story is one that can easily transcend decades and generations. Known for her fairy tale narratives, Yolen takes the story of a 'white deer' (aka. unicorn) and tells of two unlikely friends brought together my the search for the unicorn.
Beautifully written and in the style of Grimm or Anderson; if you are looking for a 'new' fairy tale to read that has that older style of lyric writing I believe you will really enjoy The Transfigured Hart. For me this was a refreshing read as I have been reading a lot of intense historical fiction or bad YA tropes. It was the perfect little read.
There's really not much else to say except that this is well worth the read. And you may find that you become addicted to Yolen's style of fairy tale writing. Luckily if you are she has a whole collection of published works, including some that have won the Nebula World Fantasy awards and many other accolades.
Ahoy there me mateys! I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
the transfigured hart (Jane Yolen)
Title: the transfigured hart
Author: Jane Yolen
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Publication Date: Available Now!!! (e-book)
I have been a Jane Yolen fan for eons. So when I saw this amazingly beautiful cover, I had to know what it was about.
This is a truly wonderful story about two young kids, who unbeknownst to each other, each catch a glimpse of a ghostly white creature in the woods. Richard is convinced it is a unicorn. Heather is convinced is a white deer. Both want to tame it. They don't count on running into each other by the crystal, shimmering pool in the forest. Danger is lurking for the beast. Heather and Richard slowly realize that they must work together to not only determine what the creature is but also in order to save it.
Jane Yolen is one of those magical writers whose stories are rich in imagery and defy neat categorization. This complexly woven tale is delightful. It doesn't necessarily feel complicated when reading it. Younger readers will be drawn into the mystery of the creature, the evolving relationship between the two teens, and the adventure that ensues. Older readers will love the unicorn history sprinkled in the tale, the rife symbolism, and the beautiful writing style.
I was completely immersed in the tale and was left in a lovely state of mind pondering the outcome of the story when I finished. I will certainly reread this in the future.
If ye want to find out what the beast in the woods turned out to be, then pick up this fantastic tale. Arrr!
So lastly . . .
Thank you Tachyon Publications!
Side Note: Special thanks to James DeMaiolo, Marketing and Publicity of Tachyon Publications who kindly sent me a copy of this novella when I missed the deadline for downloading it on NetGalley after I was approved. I be forever indebted. This story be beautiful!
Goodreads' website has this to say about the novella:
Is what Richard saw in the woods really a unicorn?
Heather and Richard have little in common. A voracious reader growing up in a large house filled with books, Richard is a sickly child that spends most of his time alone or surrounded by adults. Heather is comfortable in a crowd, but nonetheless sneaks away on her appaloosa pony for lone adventures in woods.
One evening after dinner, Richard spies a strange, white deer in the fading light of the woods. It leaps away into the thick brush, but Richard is certain of what he’s seen: a unicorn. And Heather—out for a ride on her pony—has also spotted the unusual hart.
When Heather and Richard meet, they cannot agree on what they’ve encountered, and they definitely do not want to share their secret. But they will soon discover that their mutual help is indeed much-needed.
Beloved, award-winning author Jane Yolen has created a magical tale of coming of age yet still believing in the seemingly impossible. The Transfigured Hart bounds into the wonderful in-between world where adults rediscover childhood wonder, and children can enjoy the fantastic tale right along with them.
To visit the author’s website go to:
Jane Yolen - Author
To buy the novella go to:
the transfigured hart - Book
To add to Goodreads go to:
Yer Ports for Plunder List
Previous Log Entries for this Author
a plague of unicorns (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)
a glory of unicorns (On the Horizon - Fantasy)
ORIGINALLY released in 1975, The Transfigured Hart is a beautiful, sweet novella by Jane Yolen. Proving that the worldrenowned fantasy author has nigh universal appeal, the digital re-release by Tachyon Books reads as though the book was released a week ago, sans the presence of smart phones or computer technology.
The story centers around two young teenagers, Richard and Heather who separately come upon a unicorn, and have to decide how to work together, in order to see the unicorn once again.
Both Heather and Richard, despite having different interests are presented as being intellectual equals, with Heather depicted as the more emotionally mature of the pair, which - for anyone who has known a thirteen year old boy - is highly accurate. The writing is beautifully lyrical, as we have come to expect from Yolen, but also has the refreshing rhythm of argumentative teens thrown in amid the dialogue.
The story is a grounded and entertaining depiction of a well-worn fantasy trope, but is handled with care and finesse by Yolen. It is fascinating to see how she integrates teenagers into the magic of the Hart's domain, and how the real magic that occurs is between two very different people solidifying an enduring friendship.
And isn't that the joy of fantasy? Of seeing traits you wish you had and traits you wish you didn't reflected in people who witness magical scenes? Jane Yolen will always be a lyrical superstar and a moment spent reading her stories is never a moment wasted.
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for an electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
This story was plain and simply magical. I read it during a beach vacation and it was perfect. It grabbed me right from the beginning. The imagery is exquisite and the plot flows with ease. It's one of those books that you could read as a kid and later as an adult and it will feel new and different and relevant each time. I love that the reader never really knows what's real and what's imagination created by the main characters. Is there a unicorn? Is there not? It perfectly embodies this idea that we should keep our child-like moments at heart, that we should not lose the ability to daydream, that we should savor childish play and make-believe, and that we should listen to our intuitions and not out-logic everything.
This is for sure a book everyone should have on their shelf!
Beautiful fairytale-like story. This book takes place in present time. Two kids find an albino deer and become convinced that it is a unicorn. They come together to see if they can save it from hunting season. This story is beautifully written and reminds me of a book I would read to my daughter for bed.
The Transfigured Hart is a beautiful allegory that captures the innocence of childhood belief and the magic of both the ordinary and the fantastical. This is a delightful tale that will be treasured.
An enchanting tale of a boy, a girl, and a wild woodland creature. This beautifully written tale begs to be read aloud. The language is magical and the storytelling is captivating.
Yolen's short tale of friendship, magic and the beauty of believing is a must read.
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