Author: Robin McKinley
Publication Date: November 2010
Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin Group
Rating: 4/5 stars
Summary (from Barnes & Noble): Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pagasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own Pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication. But its different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close-so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo-and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.
My Review: I’m going to start off my review by saying that this book is part 1 of 2 and this certainly impacts my thoughts on the story and on the review itself. This book absolutely has all the designs of a first parter as it is filled with a bit of back story and the set up of the conflict. There is very little conflict itself in the book until the cliff-hanger ending. While I’ve noticed that the overwhelming amount of back story is a common complaint against those who have read and reviewed Pegasus, I found the back story and the imagery beautiful and engaging.
Robin McKinley has fabulous at building immense and detailed worlds with her words and Pegasus is no exception to this. I was enchanted by this world that at first glance seemed like it could be Earth a few hundred years ago, however the closer you looked the more clearly the uniqueness of her creation shone through. In this world there is a centuries-old alliance between humans and pegasi and at age 12 Sylvi becomes to Ebon, a young, mischievous son of the Pegasus’ King. Ebon manages to uphold the noble and majestic view we have of a Pegasus, while at the same time showing that he can be as naughty, immature and devious as a human child.
The intricacies of the bonding rituals, sign language, and mutual respect that exist between the humans and the Pegasi is really what drives this story forward. McKinley has written multiple facets to the Pegasi-Human interaction. We see Sylvi and Ebon, her father and the Pegasus king, her mother and her quiet and modest Pegasus and each of these relationships servers to show just how complex and unusual this arrangement is. Each pairing helps the reader to understand just how little the humans and Pegasus understand this bond that they have shared for centuries.
It’s easy to get caught up in the beauty of the novel and the way McKinley paints a perfect picture of this world with her words. I for one can’t wait for the sequel as I’, aching to spend a little more time with both Sylvi and Ebon.