Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (November 2nd 2010)
How I got this book: free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program
Links: Amazon Goodreads
A gorgeously written fantasy about the friendship between a princess and her Pegasus.
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.
New York Times bestselling Robin McKinley weaves an unforgettable tale of unbreakable friendship, mythical creatures and courtly drama destined to become a classic.
Review:The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley are two of my favorite books of all time, so I was excited to try McKinley’s new release, Pegasus. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy parts of it. The premise and the world building are wonderful and engaging. I found the portrayal of cultural disconnect, the breakdown of stereotypes, and the main characters’ experiences of culture shock and reverse culture shock superbly realistic; despite the fantastic setting, this is exactly what people go through in real life.
However, my biggest problem with the book is that it’s painfully slow. It took me almost a month to finish it because it dragged on and on. I kept expecting some action, some excitement, but it never happened. It wasn’t until the last fifty pages that I felt like I couldn’t put it down, and even then the story ends on a cliffhanger, so I was never truly satisfied. Additionally, I kept getting confused about the timeline. There’s a lot of jumping back and forth in time, especially in the beginning, and McKinley’s writing doesn’t always make it clear where we are in the progression of events. In her other books, this has never been a problem; I know McKinley can write with grace and clarity, but this story just doesn’t seem polished. Even some of the descriptions are a bit confusing.
Overall, I enjoyed it, but I’m divided on whether or not I’ll read the sequel. If it’s as slow as Pegasus, I might skip it, but hopefully McKinley will step up her game and write a story that’s up to her usual standards. The depth is there, but the entertainment factor needs some serious work.