Pegasus

Pegasus

by Robin Mckinley

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399246777
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 11/02/2010
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 320,379
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile: 1070L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Robin McKinley has won various awards and citations for her writing, including the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown and a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword. Her other books include Sunshine; the New York Times bestseller Spindle's End; two novel-length retellings of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and Rose Daughter; and a retelling of the Robin Hood legend, The Outlaws of Sherwood. She lives with her husband, the English writer Peter Dickinson.

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Pegasus 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 261 reviews.
rabidreaderWS More than 1 year ago
No one can deny that Robin McKinley really knows how to write a fairytale novel. This one has plenty of action, a bit of angst, love and romance and loyalties and betrayals. I was surprised though that it started out so slow for me. Maybe I've become a spoiled reader, expecting books to just get right into the story. With Pegasus we get a build up, with some history and glimpses into the past before the story really takes off. However, this book is very well written. Robin McKinley is one of those writers that have a way with words. The story always feels polished and finished, never awkward. When I say it started out slow for me, it's the pace - the almost leisurely beginning. The plot is excellent and the storytelling is superb. The main character is a princess, Sylvi whose family has been ruling within a land that used to be ruled by Pegasi. Hundreds of years ago, the two races came into an accord, a treaty. However, I don't think the two sides look at the treaty quite the same way... Every royal member of the family gets bonded with a pegasus. The pegasi and the humans need a speaker, a magician to help them translate, since even with sign language meanings don't usually translate well between the two races. But when Sylvi gets bonded with her pegasus, she discovers that she can communicate with her pegasus without a speaker, and not only with her pegasus, but others.....and things become complicated from then on. Sylvi and Ebon, her pegasus, become real friends and do things together that haven't been done for hundreds of years, if ever. A wonderfully written book - and yet I didn't like the ending. It was a rather sad ending. That's okay - it's not the authors job to write endings that I'll like, but an ending that rings true to the novel. And this ending makes me wonder if there are going to be other novels in the same world..... It's written well, the words and pages flow along. Get the book - it would make a great Christmas gift for teens and adults - especially those who have a soft spot for pegasus and fairytales that don't always have a happy ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved many of McKinley's other books, so when I saw that she wrote a new one, I jumped on it. But I was terribly disappointed. The plot was slow and boring 90% of the time. I kept reading, in deference to books like "The Blue Sword," thinking that it just had to get better. But at the end, I felt angry - the ending was awful, with no sense of satisfaction at all. In fact, I thought my Nook copy was broken, and that somehow there MUST be more to the story because that can't possibly be the ending!
Meli_Green More than 1 year ago
All right, this could have been an epic book. I absolutely loved the idea of a princess and a Pegasus and a whole different world! However, the over-detailed parts, the confusion of it all, were just too much for me. At first I thought the detailed beginning was just to start the story, but I came to realize it was throughout the book, which would not have been so bad if the story would not have taken so long to get to the heart of the plot. The dialog is really choppy, and the use of the word "dad" in the book threw off the tone for me. I just wasn't expecting a princess, her brothers as well, to call her father who is a king "dad." I think it just seemed too modern for me and broke the magic of it all. Even though I read through it all I'm not sure I grasped everything that had happened. There were too many flashbacks, which in my opinion were very confusing. One minute Sylvi is talking to her Pegasus and the next moment she is talking to her father. I'm not sure where the jump from twelve to sixteen came from. Also the names, I had the hardest time trying to remember who was who, there were a lot of characters and then most characters had a matching Pegasus. Overall this story was very slow. In fact nothing really happens till the very end of the book. This story had potential to be really good but was very disappointed with how very little action there was.
pagese More than 1 year ago
I haven't read Robin McKinley before. This one sounded interesting and the cover really drew me in. But sadly, I didn't enjoy this book nearly half as much as I had hoped. And I was sadly disappointed in the ending. I wasn't sure what to think of the human characters. I liked Sylvi for the most part. I think it's because she's a princess that she acts way older than her age. I really enjoyed her relationship with Ebon. I wish we got more of it. I also like Ebon because he was different in so many ways from the other Pegasi. But, I also liked all the other Pegasi that we get to know in this story. Their history and differences were really fascinating. I really liked Sylvi's father. He's regal and displays all the attributes necessary to running a kingdom, but I also liked the love he shows to his family. So were did the story fall for me? It was in all the details. I was bored beyond belief for the first 100 pages or so. There was too much information on the alliance and the history between the Pegasi and humans. There wasn't enough interaction between the two. I wanted a story about the relationship between humans and Pegasi, and not the reasons behind it. The last half of the book was better, but I still felt like the story was too complex. My last problem was the ending. I was just getting into the story around 300 pages or so and realized, I don't think this problem is going get resolved. And spoiler or not, I wish I had known before had that it doesn't. The book ends in such dramatic fashion that I flipped through the pages again just to make sure I wasn't missing something. I was not happy. Less happier still when I go online and realize that the author doesn't always write sequels to her story. I am happy to say though that a Pegasus II is slated for 2012 (according to the author's website). I'll read the damn thing because the author left me hanging so badly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful story about a friendship that transcends every barrier. Beautifully written, and as captivating as only a McKinley novel can be, Pegasus is a must-read for fantasy lovers. Impatient readers might want to hold off for a bit though, as the book ends with a cliffhanger that isn't due to be resolved until sometime in 2014, according to McKinley's blog.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warning! This is not a stand-alone book! It is only the first of three planned books and his first book ends in the middle of a paragraph (literally!), and a really sad and shocking one at that. The second book is already more than 2 years past its original publishing deadline and the author has admitted publically that she is really struggling to continue the story. The writing is brilliant and the story (so far), engaging, but given the high probability that it will be years (if ever) for the story to be finished, there is no way i would spend $15 for this first enstallment!
Bocelli86 More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to read this book because of all the great reviews and because, let's face it, the IDEA of Pegasus has such amazing potential. Sadly, I was disappointed. It was all I could do to get through the first two hundred pages of historical and background mumbo-jumbo! It seemed to me that there was too much "information" and not near enough character development. The glimpses of character development I did see were great, but so few and far between that it all just felt like a tease. By the time the book did pick up and actually become interesting and exciting, I knew there would never be enough time left to conclude anything! You wade through 200+ pages of boring background story, get about 100 pages of excitement and the oh-my-gosh-this-might-actually-turn-out-good feeling, and then it ends. Apparently there is a sequel coming out in 2012 and I will probably have to read it just to feel like I have gotten some closure. Hopefully the next book will suceed where this one did not. The story of a princess and a pegasus is too exciting to have been told so poorly. On a side note I will say that the cover art is absolutely, amazingly beautiful. Kudos to the artist!
lilibrarian on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book has no ending, so there must be a sequel coming. A young princess is bonded with a young pegasus, as is the custom of high-born peoples in their lands according to treaty. The difference is that this princess can understand her pegasus, and after visiting the Pegasus homeland, she can understand all pegasi. A wicked magician separates her from her Pegasus and the book ends with the country under attack by a plethora of magical beasts.
foggidawn on LibraryThing 5 months ago
By the terms of an ancient treaty between the humans and the pegasi, children of royalty and of certain noble families in Balsinland are "bound" to a pegasus on their 12th birthdays, in a ceremony cementing friendship between the two. From that time forth, the pegasus will appear with his or her bond-friend at court events. This close bond between the two races exists because the humans defeated the enemies of the pegasi -- rocs, wyverns, taralians, norindours -- and drove them out of the sweet green land the pegasi call home. However, humans and pegasi cannot speak to one another without the help of specially trained magicians, and then only with effort, because the two species communicate in such different ways. Moreover, though pegasi regularly visit the royal court in Balsinland, humans never visit the lands where the pegasi dwell. So, when princess Sylviianel, fourth child of King Corone, comes to her bonding ceremony, she is hesitant and nervous about being bound to one of these strange, beautiful, incomprehensible creatures . . . until, in the middle of the ceremony, she discovers that she can speak to her pegasus -- and he can speak back -- through thoughts. Such a thing has never been heard of in all the years of the alliance, but to Sylvi and Ebon, her bond-friend, it proves a wonderful gift, allowing them to form a closer friendship and to promote a better understanding between the two species. A few of her father's magicians, however, do not wish to see free communication develop between humans and pegasi, and they will do whatever they can to keep Sylvi and Ebon apart.This novel is reminiscent of The Hero and the Crown and others of McKinley's earlier works, and includes many of her trademarks -- including a slight tendency to ramble through pages of description and backstory, sometimes even in the middle of a conversation. The story itself is strong and fresh, and the characters are nuanced and believable. There is one major departure for McKinley's classic style: this is the first time she has ever ended a book with a cliffhanger. Fans will anxiously await this book's sequel.
WeaselOfDoom on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I am a Robin McKinley fan girl, so when I won an ARC of her new novel, Pegasus, from the Library Thing Early Reviewers program, there was much rejoicing. I devoured the book in one day, and will definitely have to re-read it again for a better review, but here goes my first impression: A good story, but this is only Part I, and it ends just as things begin to get interesting.The book is about Sylvi, who is a princess, and therefore must be bonded to a pegasus. Sylvi is apprehensive about it, and worries because humans and pegasi do not share a language. However, when she is bonded to Ebon, the two of them are able to mindspeak to each other without a need for magician interpreters. Needless to say, not all magicians are thrilled with this development. As Sylvi's friendship with Ebon grows, their country is once again being threatened by war.As usual, McKinley excels in creating believable worlds and wonderful protagonists. While Pegasus reminded me a lot of "The Blue Sword" and "The Hero and The Crown," Sylvi's story is unique. It did meander a bit, and some things Sylvi did struck me as out of character, but overall it was very good, and it will be interesting to see how everything ends.
PaperCrystals on LibraryThing 5 months ago
As always, the worldbuilding that Robin McKinley does is pure magic. All of it feels real- the well-told history of the treaty and the way that parts of the story were lost over time. The tiny details, like the small and deft hands of the pegasi. Every bit was engrossing. Sylvi and Ebon were perfectly drawn as the fourth children of their respective fathers. A princess and her pegasus, Excellent Friends, and true friends.There is little I can say that hasn't been said more eloquently than I can manage, so I will close with the only negative. As other reviewers have mentioned, the novel ends in the middle- no warning other than the sudden lack of extra pages. I can only hope that the next book is released soon, because I find myself needing to know how it ends.
anyanwubutler on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I rushed to read this brand new novel by McKinley because I received it as an ARC (thank you!) and I didn¿t feel it was right or appropriate to let it languish on my TBR pile. And it¿s Robin McKinley, how could I not read it immediately? It was a good decision, it¿s a great book. The first sentence is: ¿Because she was a princess she had a Pegasus.¿ (p.1) Sylvi is the fourth child and first daughter of the King and Queen of Balsinland who have had a 1,000 year old Alliance with Pegasi. As such, they rule together, her father the King is bonded to the Pegasi King. She is bonded to his son, Ebon, with whom Sylvi shares a telepathic bond, but historically communication between Pegasi and humans is difficult. Pegasi use shamans to translate, humans use magicians. Magicians, especially one particularly powerful one, are not happy that Sylvi and Ebon have upset their applecart. When Sylvi realizes how very telepathic she is she thinks. ¿It was like ¿ what was it like? It wasn¿t like anything. It was like flying when you have no wings; it was like galloping on four legs when you have only two; it was like hearing the color red; it was like being someone else. And, being someone else, you no longer know how to be you.¿ (p.237) Her impressions as a young child of being in the royal family. ¿She had been much more dazzled by the manifest splendor of her big brother than by that her parents were king and queen of the country; being a king and queen seemed chiefly to mean talking to a lot of boring people about boring things (and being a princess seemed to be about being polite to people you didn¿t want to talk to at all, and learning boring book- ink- and- paper lessons even on sunny days)¿¿ (p.370-371) But this book does not complete Sylvii and Ebon¿s stories, which is atypical of McKinley, who tends to write one offs, that is. The next book should come out in 2012 or so.
Rachael on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Note: My review is based on the Advanced Reading Copy I received through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.When I was a little girl, my Mom gave me a book about Greek and Roman mythology; on the cover is Pegasus, ridden by Bellerophon. That cover always fascinated me; what would it be like to actually ride a winged horse? I was lucky enough to actually have horses (sadly, non-winged) to ride, and I could plant a kiss on a velvet nose any time I wanted. And while I may be all grown up now, I haven¿t lost my love of horses, nor my fascination for horses that can fly. So, naturally, the title and premesis of Robin McKinley¿s Pegagus appealed to me, as I believe it would to anyone who loves fantasy and horses. In McKinley's world, the Pegasi aren¿t winged horses that can fly. They may share similarities to horses, but they are not horses. They are unique creatures, with bodily attributes, society, language and mythology unlike you¿ve ever encountered in literature before.Humans and Pegasi have been in an interconnected relationship for several thousand years, a relationship formed by a treaty between humans and Pegasi that is supposed to be mutually beneficial. The society, culture and language, both human and Pegasus, that McKinley has created feels full, real and well-thought out. Some humans and Pegasi are formally bound to each other; even so, their relationship is usually a somewhat formal and distant one. Magicians and Speakers are required to allow for any kind of communication and even that is not easy or perfect. Touching a Pegasus is frowned upon, riding one is most certainly frowned upon, and Pegasi come to visit the humans, not the other way around.It isn¿t until the fourth daughter of a human king is bound to the son of a Pegasus king that this status quo is upset. Sylvi, the little girl, and Ebon, an unusually colored Pegasus, can hear and understand each other clearly, in their minds. This is extremely unexpected and naturally, upsets some in the kingdom, one powerful magician in particular.Fortunately, Sylvi¿s parents are understanding and willing to allow their daughter to explore this relationship further, although they still must hide certain things, like the night-time adventures in which Ebon encourages a very willing Sylvi to climb on his back and go flying with him. Several years after their bonding, Sylvi becomes the first human to visit the Pegasi and learn more about who they really are. She learns some upsetting truths about the treaty, about magicians, and about herself and the Pegasi.As I read this book, I was reminded of other human-pegasus or human-horse relationships I¿ve encountered in literature: Fledge from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a former carthorse named Strawberry turned into a Pegasus¿the first Pegasus in Narnia--by Aslan; Bree, a Talking Horse from A Horse and His Boy. The relationship of Sylvi and Ebon also reminded me a bit of Lyra and Pantalaimon from The Golden Compass. Ebon wasn¿t Sylvi¿s daemon or even her familiar, but there was something similar about their relationship, of how they could talk to each other. McKinley's Sylvi and Ebon and their unique and fascinating bond could take their place amongst these classic human/animal pairings in literature.The book builds slowly, and takes plenty of time in immersing the reader in this magical world. Just as the promise of faster momentum and action arrives, there¿s a cliffhanger, abrupt ending, one which I wasn¿t expecting because I did not know (until just now from reading other reviews here) that this is part one of a two part book. It¿s not that book two will be the sequel, but that it is the second half of one singular work. Knowing that doesn¿t help with the "Wait, it¿s over?! And now I have to wait for the next book"? feeling.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing 5 months ago
It was an excellent half-a-story. I'm very glad I saw the comments about that, and Robin's statement that she's working on the second half (though it won't be out until 2012!) before I read this. It's not exactly a cliffhanger, but the book definitely ends at a crisis point. And of course I'm now completely focused on what comes next, how do Sylvi and Ebon and their fathers deal with this. But reaching back a bit, into this book's story - I like Sylvi and Ebon, and I loved their introduction to each other. There's no answer (yet) as to why them, or specifically why Sylvi. It does feel a bit like Harry in Damar - _something_ is pushing her to be more than she expected. But at least she was raised as a princess, if only a superfluous fourth child. Ebon's great, and I like his little sister too. And I think everyone's underestimating the queen's partner - she's shy and quiet but she's stepped in to do what needed doing several times already. It's a very interesting story and setup, but there are really no conclusions to be drawn yet - there's too much of the story still to come for that. I was glad to see that Fthoom overstepped his aim twice - though I doubt it will stop him completely. Very much looking forward to the rest of this story!
reconditereader on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I got this book from the LTER program.I love Robin McKinley, but not all her books equally. This one was middle-of-the-road for her. I think she can do better.It got a somewhat slow start. I wish there had been less info-dump on the history; the history is important but got a little repetitive. There could have been less of it with no lessening of effect.Once the princess and the pegasus get together, things get more interesting. Their relationship is somewhat unique, and I'd like to read more about how it progresses as they grow up together. Around halfway through the book I realized that it must be the first in a series because there was no way to wrap everything up in the remaining pages -- and I was right. The end of this book isn't so much a cliffhanger as an abrupt end in the middle of things. So I do want to read the next book, but I think it was a weird way to end.This book has potential, and so does the series. People have functional families, which is a nice change in fantasy. I think Pegasus didn't live up to its potential, but there's enough there to make me track down the second book.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Sylvani, king's daughter, is preparing to be magically bonded to a son of the king of the Pegasi, as is required by the treaty between their kingdoms. To everyone's shock, at the ceremony it turns out that Sylvani can mindspeak with her bonded pegasus. Which is impossible. Except it isn't. I was concerned about how McKinley would be able to put the pegasus - froo-froo fantastical creature to the extreme - into a serious novel. There was no need to worry, though; McKinley's nonhuman characters have always been at least as well developed as the humans. The Pegasi are amazing.I read this knowing that it was Part 1 of an as-yet-unfinished tale, and McKinley mentioned on her blog that the ending is unsatisfying, so I knew what was coming. But I was still surprised and upset at the cliffhanger where the story stops. I loved the book, but I expect the next time I read it will be right before Book 2 is released, whenever that will be. I can't wait.
flemmily on LibraryThing 5 months ago
What a weird book. I'm a big fan of Robin McKinley, but I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It is almost entirely exposition and character development. Her exposition and building of the world's mythology are much more detailed and direct, rather than integrated into the story, as she normally writes. Her main character is not quite as much of an outsider as she normally writes. She is different, but has a really strong and accepting family. It was nice to read, but maybe kept there from being as much interesting conflict.I did love her descriptions of the Pegasi. I really like how they are both strong and delicate, and I love all the slightly creepy references to their frail hands. I also think it's interesting the way she creates the friendship between a human and an alien other. It almost makes up for the embarrassment of having to read a book about Pegasi - I haven't been that kind of girl since I was 6.And then the ending! It just ends. I guess it's kind of a cliffhanger, but it also seems like the printer forgot to include the last two chapters. I woke up this morning thinking "oh, I've got to finish my book" but then I realized there wasn't anymore to read.This is the kind of book generally described as "problematic." A worthwhile read, but not my favorite.
ellen.w on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The blurb on the back of this book says that it's about "a princess and her pegasus." If that's a phrase that fills you with excitement, you'll probably love this book, in which a society of pegasi lives parallel to and -- I thought -- somewhat subservient to a human world. If, like me, you rolled your eyes at that description, you'll still probably get exactly what you expect out of the book: a light, fairy tale-esque fantasy.The tone and style of Pegasus reminded me of The Hero and the Crown, which is one of my least favorite McKinley books. I know a lot of people who love that one, and they're probably exactly the audience for Pegasus. I prefer the ones that are a tad bit more grounded in reality (a relative judgment!), like The Outlaws of Sherwood and Sunshine, so my reaction isn't necessarily representative.The ending is a wicked cliffhanger, which annoyed me because I had no idea this was intended to be the beginning of a series. I'm still on the fence about whether I'll pick up the next book.
Mardel on LibraryThing 5 months ago
No one can deny that Robin McKinley really knows how to write a fairytale novel. This one has plenty of action, a bit of angst, love and romance and loyalties and betrayals.I was surprised though that it started out so slow for me. Maybe I've become a spoiled reader, expecting books to just get right into the story. With Pegasus we get a build up, with some history and glimpses into the past before the story really takes off. However, this book is very well written. Robin McKinley is one of those writers that have a way with words. The story always feels polished and finished, never awkward. When I say it started out slow for me, it's the pace - the almost leisurely beginning. The plot is excellent and the storytelling is superb. The main character is a princess, Sylvi whose family has been ruling within a land that used to be ruled by Pegasi. Hundreds of years ago, the two races came into an accord, a treaty. However, I don't think the two sides look at the treaty quite the same way...Every royal member of the family gets bonded with a pegasus. The pegasi and the humans need a speaker, a magician to help them translate, since even with sign language meanings don't usually translate well between the two races. But when Sylvi gets bonded with her pegasus, she discovers that she can communicate with her pegasus without a speaker, and not only with her pegasus, but others.....and things become complicated from then on. Sylvi and Ebon, her pegasus, become real friends and do things together that haven't been done for hundreds of years, if ever.A wonderfully written book - and yet I didn't like the ending. It was a rather sad ending. That's okay - it's not the authors job to write endings that I'll like, but an ending that rings true to the novel. And this ending makes me wonder if there are going to be other novels in the same world..... It's written well, the words and pages flow along. Get the book - it would make a great Christmas gift for teens and adults - especially those who have a soft spot for pegasus and fairytales that don't always have a happy ending.
SockMonkeyGirl on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Oh, I wanted to love to love this book. But I just couldn't. And that makes me sad because I adore Robin McKinley.Even if this book wasn't by an author on my automatic buy list, I would have been interested in the plot. Pegusi living side by side with humans, but barely able to communicate until a special princess and pegasus pair find that they have a deeper bond. How could that be bad? But apparently, it could destroy the world. That is exactly the sort of book that I would gravitate towards. I loved the world-building in this book. It was intricate and beautiful and felt solid in the way that the best fantasy does. But I felt that the way McKinley did it, with a lot of flashbacks to lessons and exposition, took away from the story. It lost some of the excitement and urgency that I wanted to feel.I also loved the character building. Sylvi's father seemed so real, with his conflict between the duties of a ruler and a father. Sylvi and Ebon's relationship was fun and heartbreaking at the same time. There were a plethora of well rounded characters to read and enjoy.But with great world building and characters and a strong plot, why didn't I love the book? I'm finding that hard to quantify. Was it just the sometimes jarring flashbacks? Was it the sheer amount of world building? Was it the fact that it ended on a cliffhanger (something McKinley never does)? Maybe. I liked the book but I didn't love it. It took me a while to start. I put it down in the middle and read another book. I pushed myself to finish it and was annoyed at the ending. But I will pick up the next book, hoping that McKinley will pull it all together in the next volume.
katiedoll on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I¿ve heard a lot of amazing things about Pegasus, and while I agree that it is a beautifully written book, it just wasn¿t the book for me.Admittedly, it confused me. A lot. This book kind of goes all over the place. One minute Sylvi is talking to somebody, the next she¿s wrapped up in a memory of when she was a child. Had it been just a few times, it would¿ve been easy for me to just read and get over, but the continuous flashbacks are so consistent that I was left dizzy trying to figure out where they started, stopped, what was going on now and what wasn¿t just a memory. And at times, I felt like it was just telling me information instead of telling me a story. Almost like a textbook.I did continue to read for the relationship of Sylvi and Ebon though. Even though I spent the majority of the book confused, their friendship leaped off the pages. From the second they became bound, their entire relationship seemed doomed from the start, but their care and desperation for each other was so gorgeously crafted. I couldn¿t stop reading, if only to find out the outcome of their frowned-upon friendship.Overall, Pegasus was a gorgeously written book and it¿s definitely a classic in the making, but it¿s not one that I enjoyed very much. If a sequel is released, I will give it a chance because Ebon and Sylvi are two characters that did manage to captivate me, even if the story didn¿t. But I recommend this to historical fans and fans of the classics. I think this is better suited for you guys!
beserene on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Note: This novel was received through the Early Reviewers program; most of those few flaws mentioned can probably be blamed on the ARC.I have just finished McKinley's newest YA fantasy novel and it is maddening that I do not have its sequel in my hand, right now, this very minute. I want to know what happens next, gosh darn it, and that is only the first compliment I have to give.McKinley is famous for writing solid fantasies with strong heroines and, often, intelligent twists on familiar fantasy ideas. Her pattern holds true here: Princess Sylviianel (Sylvi) is a bright, admirable, body- and headstrong young woman who, while occasionally a little repetitive (one of the few flaws of the book), is a warm and real character for the reader to connect with. In this novel, Sylvi is bonded -- as is tradition in her world and family -- to a pegasus called Ebon. Ebon is also a likable character, though perhaps at first a little too teenage boy in his manner (that's realism for you). The driving force behind the events of the novel (this isn't much of a spoiler, since it happens quite early in the novel, but beware just in case) is the fact that Sylvi and Ebon can "speak" to each other, something that has never happened before in the novel's world.While the whole human-animal communication thing has happened in literature before, plenty of times, I like McKinley's take on it. The speech between the main characters is often lively, but does not allow the reader to forget that one of the speakers is a magical animal, the other human. Speech passages are peppered by the occasional untranslatable concept or word -- as often happens in communication between radically different languages and mindsets -- and McKinley is careful to point out the non-verbal communication differences as well. In addition, McKinley has quite deliberately highlighted the delicate details of the pegasi, including brilliant biological additions (like hollow bones and tiny wing-joint "hands") that help an independently functional society of flying ungulates make sense.These little details add to the reality of the created world and the reader's enjoyment of the novel itself. The wonder of the book would have been vastly undercut had McKinley gone the easy route and turned her ethereal pegasi into anthropomorphized horses, but she studiously avoids doing so; thus, the reader is touched by a sense of the exotic and magical, just as the characters in the book are, when encountering the pegasi.The world here is pleasantly rendered -- McKinley doesn't offer as much detail about the human land as she does about Rhiandomeer, the land of the pegasi, but that suits the progress of the novel. The mystery running just under the surface of the plot isn't terribly subtle for adults, but suits the target audience (tween and teen girls) well. This first volume, in fact, leads up to edge of the answer to that mystery, but then leaves us hanging before we get to any actual confirmation.In fact, a lot of this novel is context and building and lead-up -- it is much more about Sylvi and Ebon growing up, about establishing their relationship and their place in the world, than it is about the larger plot thread within which their early friendship is blossoming. I suspect that the next volume will focus much more on the "action", though whether that will be an improvement is something of a question.Basically, there isn't much that needs improvement here. In her typical style, McKinley has offered up a novel that, while not absolutely perfect, is absorbing, beautiful, thoughtful and full of wonder. One can't really ask for more, in a genre as crowded as fantasy, than charming characters, vivid settings, interesting plots, and an original spin on a familiar fantasy figure. Bottom line: this is good stuff.
Pebblesgmc on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I love this book, my only problem is waiting for the second half of the story:( The story is about a girl who is bonded to a pegasi, and they can talk to each other.A wicked magician tries to interfere with there friendship, and accuses them of treason. Her father sets the magician to work in the library to find references to other human/pegasi pairs that talked to each other. Just before her 16th birthday she gets to visit the pegasi home land. the story ends to soon, and is a cliff hanger.I am looking forward to the next book.
ascexis on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Disappointing. Yet again the author abandons the story half told, and without the really interesting stuff more than dangled before the reader's eyes. An irritating read.
krau0098 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I have been a fan of Robin McKinley books for a number of years...or maybe that should be decades. Anyway, The Hero and the Crown was one of the first fantasy books I read on my own and is still one of my favorites. When I heard that Pegasus was done in a style similar to The Hero and the Crown I was really excited. Pegasus is the first book in a two book series; according to McKinely's blog it was supposed to be one book and just got too long so it is being released as two books instead. This was a wonderful fantasy book; there is just so much here to love.Sylvi is about to be bound to her Pegasus. Her kingdom has an ages old alliance with the Pegasi and as part of this alliance everyone in the royal family is bound to a Pegasus. In many cases the binding is nothing but show. In Sylvi's case it is different. When her and Ebon (her pegasus) are bound they can talk to each other mind to mind; something unheard of. This special ability is both good and bad; it makes Sylvi and Ebon outcasts but also promises hope to forge new and stronger bonds with the Pegasi. Leaders of both the Pegasi and the humans are hoping Sylvi and Ebon will make things better. Of course they have their enemies, an evil magician is set on proving that Sylvi and Ebon's ability is a curse. Then there is the increased activity of the monsters in the region; these attacks are getting more and more frequent. Will Sylvi and Ebon help the situation or will there unusual ability only make things worse?This was a wonderful book with wonderful characters. It is definitely not the fastest read and the first chapter is a bit miserable (for some reason McKinley starts off dictating the ancient treaty in horribly stilted language) but bear through that first chapter and things get much much better.Sylvi and Ebon are wonderfully likable, funny, and sweet characters. Most of the characters in this book are inherently good and they all have good senses of humor. It is hard to hate anyone in this book; except for the evil magician whom you are supposed to loathe. This book is filled with beautiful descriptions, lots of wonder, and intricate details of interactions between the human and pegasi.McKinely pays a ton of attention to detail in the human and pegasi interactions. It was very impressive. Sometimes the detail got a bit rambling and overbearing, but mostly it was fascinating how much thought was put into the interaction between the two races. McKinley weaves a ton of suspense throughout the story as attacks keep happening closer and closer to the castle. This book does not have a lot of action; but it does have intrigue, court politics, and adventure in spades. I get a feeling that as things build to a head we will see a lot of action in book 2 of this duo. The world is incredibly well thought out and the story almost epic in proportions; still it remains very personable at the same time and follows Sylvie and Ebon closely throughout. There is a bit of a love interest hinted at, but not much romance in the story in general. The writing is very readable and had a good balance of description and action; it does ramble on a bit at times but most of it was interesting.I just fell in love with this world, the Pegasi, and the royal family. The book leaves readers at a pretty bad spot; totally a cliffhanger. So you've been warned. I knew going into the book that it ended in a cliffhanger, but the ending still almost left me in tears. On hindsight it was a good place to leave the story and will definitely get readers back for more.Overall I loved this book, loved the world, loved the characters, and was impressed with how well thought out and detailed the human/Pegasi interactions were. I highly recommend this is you are a fantasy fan; it is reminiscent of McKinely's earlier books like The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword. If you enjoyed those you will enjoy this. It also reminds some of Tamora Pierce's books or Sherwood Smith's books; if y