Ernie Colón returns to the book once again to illustrate a tale not of Arak, but of Valda whom readers have not seen for some time. If finds her still at the court of King Carolus Magnus, drinking perhaps a little more than she should and missing Arak just a little more than she thought she would. As it is, the court has a new visitor in Prince Ecgfrith who is looking to hammer out a treaty and perhaps gain a bride in the process. He also brings a gift which just so happens to be a unicorn and while it fascinates everyone, it does seem to be a little wild to which it is Valda who thinks that she can tame the animal. It is a battle between woman and beast and it proves to be almost fatal to Valda before Malagigi steps in to save the day. All of this proves to be an extraordinary sight for Prince Ecgfrith who has changed his mind on marrying a princess and instead now desires Valda, unbeknownst to her that is. Soon his decision is announced and it is to be decided in a joust on whether she will or will not marry him and she knows that beating him will be easier than anything she has done previously. Suffice it to say, things do not work out as planned and a wedding is called for almost immediately, much to Valda’s shock and dismay. Eventually, the truth plays out, of how there was cheating involved and with her uncle’s help as well, but when it is all said and done, things go back to the status quo with Ecgfrith on his way home and Valda given a quest which may or may not see her join up with Arak once again. All in all, this was a good, if uneventful tale being more filler than anything else. Yes, it probably sets things up for a reunion between Arak and Valda which would be a good thing as they make a great pairing and while there was nothing wrong with the story, it would have been nice to see a little more action and perhaps a touch of horror like many of the stories that have come before it. Roy and Dann Thomas do a great job with it and Colon is as fantastic as ever so even if it was not the best the book has seen, it was still better than many other books released at the time.
3.5 out of 5