New York Times reviewer Basil Davenport noted that while "Sturgeon's poetic sensitivity sometimes leads him to overwriting, . . . at his best it gives his work an emotional depth which is all too rare in this field."Boucher and McComas gave the collection a lukewarm review, describing it as "a hodgepodge" mixing "Grade A Sturgeon stories" with "a good many one can see no particular reason for collecting"; still, they concluded that Unicorn was "a book belonging in any fantasy library." P. Schuyler Miller praised the collection as "one of the finest short story collections by any writer in the field."