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The Adventures of Crimson and the Guardian

Looking for top children’s fantasy books? Or maybe unicorn stories for ages 8-10? Here is a fun, popular children’s medieval fantasy story with ancient fantasy creatures galore.

Crimson, the last of the secretive and elusive unicorns, steps into young orphaned Kinsey’s path and life. Within minutes Kinsey finds herself battling a huge and dangerous snake-like river monster with nothing but a magical cloak and a dagger. Some how she survives, and with her sense of adventure awakened, she agrees to travel with Crimson on an incredible journey towards more danger and peril than she could ever imagine.

Kinsey must overcome a band of vicious monsters called jagotchies before rescuing the kidnapped leader of the dwarfs and helping save the life of a young troll-like creature, a Shadow-Blood.

As she travels closer to the battlefield where the nation’s enemy is gathering his forces, she has to avoid wolf-like creatures called mungas intent on tearing her limb to limb, escape the clutches of the small but deadly bobaho and kill a giant savage dragon to rescue Crimson from a band of shape-shifters.

At every encounter Kinsey discovers more about the cloak’s magic secrets, and surprises herself with her own abilities. But war is looming, and old enemies and warriors are gathering their forces. Has she learned enough to be able to defeat the deadliest enemy of all; the man called the Snake?

Paperback edition
13.97cm x21.59cm (width x height)
179 pages

Buy all 3 books from Karen Cossey today for $59.99 plus $5 P&P and get a $10 discount against the other P&P costs. Enter the discount code KAREN3 at checkout.

$15.99 inc. GST


This adventurous unicorn fantasy book for girls and boys age 8-10 has plenty of action and adventure from not only unicorns, but also dragons, trolls, elves, dwarfs and fantasy creatures. A new adventure in every chapter makes this a good choice for a fantasy book for children–both boys and girls enjoy following Kinsey and Crimson the Unicorn on their adventurous quest.


Shaye Wardrop, Kid’s Book Review

When I was a child, I often fantasised about being chosen for a quest — for destiny to come knocking and have something epic to say. For kids who can relate, The Adventures of Crimson and the Guardian will take you on that epic quest.

Kinsey is an orphaned servant girl. She works in a castle kitchen, and while her employer treats her well, Kinsey knows she was meant to do more with her life.

Walking in the forest to visit her sister, Kinsey finds a magical cloak. A unicorn emerges from the trees, and Kinsey’s life changes forever.

There is trouble in the kingdom, and Crimson the unicorn needs Kinsey to help fight it. Reluctant and unprepared, Kinsey isn’t ready to be a hero. But as evil closes in and threatens the people she cares about, Kinsey is faced with a choice: run from her destiny, or face it head on.

The Adventures of Crimson and the Guardian is an epic adventure filled with unicorns, dwarfs, elves, shadow-bloods and many more magical and fantastical creatures. Some of these I was familiar with, but others I had never heard of (and I suspect are Cossey’s own creation). I love this about the book. It pushes fantasy outside the box and delivers fresh content full of imagination.

I also really liked and related to Kinsey as a character. She has great inner strength and a strong desire to do the right thing. But like everyone, she has doubts about her abilities and must dig deep to be brave when danger looms.

As she journeys with Crimson the unicorn, Kinsey’s confidence grows. She stands up for what she believes in, and she finds her own path to victory. I love this message for kids. Sometimes things are hard, and sometimes we want more than anything to run away and hide. But believing in yourself, standing up and saying ‘I won’t run,’ can lead to the most amazing adventures.

Without illustrations, I’d put the Adventures of Crimson and the Guardian at the older end of junior fiction or younger end of middle grade. It’s an easy read, so it’s a good choice for chapter book kids ready for their next reading challenge.

Filled with magic, fantasy and action-adventure that never stops, this is one for the kids ready to say yes to the quest.

karen-cossey-author Meet Kiwi author Karen Cossey

Karen, who lives in Tauranga, has been writing stories ever since her primary teacher told her she had a great imagination when she explained that her math homework had been eaten by her pet cow. Stories were everywhere she looked, especially as she grew up in between the pages of books.

Her books have received Five Star awards, but the moment that truly made Karen proud was when her teacher friend announced at her School Assembly that she had bought two of Karen’s books (that she had read in class), for the school library and her class all started clapping and cheering. Awards are nice, but kids are better…because that’s why Karen writes—for the kids.

Find out more about Karen on her author page.


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