This story is by Neil Gaiman - what else need I say?
Well a bit actually. It is a great fairy story. There's a love-lorn hero, a damsel in distress, a beautiful princess imprisoned by an evil witch, evil witch queens, cold-hearted lords on a quest for power, a unicorn and much, much more.
The book alone is well worth reading but not only is this book available as a novel it is also a graphic novel and a film and each is well worth checking out.
I've found myself thinking that maybe this review is a bit short but seriously - it's Neil Gaiman! - that alone should say it all.
Then again I do have a MASSIVE crush on the man - I met him once at an event, total embarrassment, I couldn't speak, mumbled some random shit at him and then had to stand there blushing madly while he eyed me as if I was some slightly dangerous exhibit at the zoo that he couldn't tear himself away from. Still, I have books that he has touched with his own hands - I even have the signatures to prove it!
I suppose you'll just have to go and read the book to find out that it really is good and not just a figment of my obsessed imagination.