Pegasus

Robin McKinley, Author
Robin McKinley, Putnam, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-399-24677-7
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-14-242094-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-1-937007-77-5
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Leisurely in its pacing, but rich in language and character development, this lovely tale concerns young Princess Sylvi and her singular bond with her pegasus, Ebon. Humans and pegasi have maintained an alliance against their land's other murderous species—taralians, norindours, and rocs—over many centuries, despite an almost complete inability to communicate with each other except, with great difficulty, through the aid of human magicians. But Sylvi and Ebon are different. From the moment they meet, they form a telepathic bond, something that could be a boon to both species. The powerful magician Fthoom, however, seeing their relationship as both heresy and a danger to the magicians' power, has vowed to end it. McKinley (Chalice) does a wonderful job of developing the pegasi culture, particularly their art and largely gestural language, as Sylvi and Ebon's relationship grows over the course of several years. Because this is only the first part of what is presumably a two-volume novel, readers may find the book's inconclusive ending frustrating. Despite this, it's an enchanting fantasy that the author's many fans will love. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
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