Sunday, 1 April 2012

A - Z Challenge: B is for Bicorn and also for Jim Butcher

is for

        PART I:

         WHAT IS IT?

The Bicorn is a creature from the mind of Geofry Chaucer himself [1].  It devours kind hearted and devoted husbands ensuring that it is always well fed.
It is incredibly elusive and as it looks like a particularly well fed panther with a human face it needs to be. In addition to burrowing, something that it is extremly good at, it will drop both horns in the same way a lizard will drop its tail.

The counterpart to the Bicorn is the Chichevache who feasts only on obdient wives and is therefore forever starving. [2] The pair were often to be found carved into church misericords. [3]


It makes its appearance in the Canturbury Tales so I would suggest that somewhere in Canterbury a trap might be laid with relative ease [4]. After that it would be a matter of time and patience


There are many uses for a beast that eats people but one that dines on a specific kind of person is going to be slightly harder to place. It's best use I think would be as a happiness detector.

Picture the following scene, You're at a party and have run into a friend that you haven't seen for a long time. He tells you that he has gotten married and it's everything that it should be.
However, a slight narrowing of the eyes or a subtle shifting of his head tips you off and you take the opportunity to introduce your pet Bicorn.
If the beast doesn't immedietly leap upon your friend and gobble him up then you can relax for he's obviously not a kind hearted or devoted husband [5].


It would be easy to say just have it as a monster of the villain or even the ultimate mastermind behind the shenanigans that brought your hero into this whole thing and end it with that.
But as it has a human face it might be able to talk and what wisdom might it grant the right person?
It would have to listen to it's prey a while before deciding whether or not to eat someone so it may be that someone has managed to tame the beasts and has an unrivaled spy network in place. Perhaps a particular Bicorn has plot advancing knowledge and the hero must capture it before it will spill the beans.


        PART II:
is also for
Butcher, Jim

Harry Dresden lives in Chicago where he is a private investigator and a wizard, but he doesn't do birthday parties [6].  He works closely with the Chicago Police Department to provide magical expertise in those strange cases that can't be explained by regular means.  The higher ups don't like him but that's par for the course in any decent detective book.

This is a long running series, with 13 books making up the entire arc but it's an easy one to jump into.  It has a lot of politics in it as Harry is a member of the white council of wizards and a Warden, who are more combat capable and struggle to hold the line against the Red Court of Vampires with whom they are at war. [7] 

The other two vampire courts are the White and the Black but don't make the mistake of thinking that being named the White Court makes them the weepy effeminate type so beloved of Anne Rice or Stephene Meyers, while they are beautiful its only another trick of the predator over the prey.  Harrys brother Thomas is a white court vampire and one of the few good ones

The elven courts of Summer and Winter both make and have claims against him which he's doing his best to evade.  Of course with the all the councils and politics it only means that there is going to be plenty of time for truth, lies, backstabbery and, if all else fails, frontstabbery.

I would recommend this series to anyone who like a paranormal twist on their detective stories or who enjoy the flashbang of magic [8].
Fans of Laurell K Hamiliton's Anita Blake books will have no problems and if you like the idea of a wizard riding the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex down the main streets of Chicago then I've no doubt that you'll enjoy the series.


  1. Although where he came up with the idea is anybodies guess. Possibly there were a lot of Bicorn ranches out in Canterbury
  2. Ahem
  3. A misericord, also known as a mercy seat, is a small wooden shelf on the underside of a folding seat in a church. It is there to provide a small degree of comfort for someone that must stand during the long periods of prayer. Bonus points if you already knew this.
  4. Although if someone wants to give Tim Burton a phone call it wouldn't look out of place in the next Alice in Wonderland.
  5. Because who needs them? Listening to you, Remembering anniversaries, helping around the house. I need to take a shower just thinking about them.
  6. When you consider the amount of things that show up to attack him you'll realise that this is a good thing.
  7. Rather predictably this was Harrys doing.  There were perfectly good reasons behind his actions but then, there always are.
  8. This could easily be the flashbang of a grenade.  Harry isn't the kind to take a knife to a gunfight.

The Bountiful Beetle,
who always carried a Green Umbrella when it didn't rain,
and left it at home when it did.


  1. Bicorns indeed seem bi-adolical! The mental image of the party scene made me snicker... snicker-snack even.

  2. You are welcome to snicker snack on the corn. we've got plenty round here

  3. WOAH!!! I guess I better watch out for a Bicorn that is for certain..;) The party scene made me think, now that is what friends are for.

    1. As long as you Keep an ear open for anyone who "casually mentions" that they've got a new pet and would you like to see it? Perhaps at a party later on... and you should be fine.

  4. the Bicorn sounds very, interesting.

    Konstanz Silverbow
    A to Z c-host

    1. That's how they operate. Stand there looking interesting to lure the prey closer until POW! One less kindhearted husband to worry about.

  5. The Bicorn is scary. Dead useful at times...much better than a polygraph ("I swear I haven't been cheating!!" "Yeah? Well, let's see you take a Bicorn-test!"), but would be kind of a bummer too, you know, if you got attached to someone. XD

  6. "All right dear. I've nothing to hide"