“PEGASUS,” by Robin McKinley, Putnam Juvenile, $18.99 (young adult)
Robin McKinley‘s “Pegasus” is a fantasy primer. New worlds and creatures are introduced, as is a new language. McKinley gently introduces readers into her magical world, making the unknown real and the impossible plausible.
In the kingdom of Bainsland royal children have a special responsibility, being bound to their own pagasus on their 12th birthdays.
The binding is part of an ancient treaty, strengthening the bonds of friendship between the two kingdoms. The Alliance was made almost 1,000 years ago, with special magicians helping the Pegasi and humans formally communicate
Sylvi is the fourth child of the king and queen and thus, not as important as her older brothers. At least she isn’t supposed to be. But when Sylvi is bound to her own pegasus, Ebon, things are different.
Sylvi and Ebon mind-speak to each other — without the help of a Speaker. It’s never happened before. And while their bond is seen as gift, a way to create better understanding between two species, some don’t agree.
The pair is now a threat to the magicians, and the peace between their two nations is in question. Can Sylvi and Ebon maintain a delicate balance, or will politics pull them apart?
Reminiscent of McKinley’s previous works, “Pegasus” is not a fast book. The story seems to dreamily meander, drawing the reader slowly forward. There are adventures and action, but there’s less of a jolt when it comes into play.
McKinley dedicates a lot of time to developing the main characters, which pays off as the story unfolds. Some readers may struggle, however, with rambling jaunts that move action away from the story itself. For those willing to overlook some slight flaws, the payoff is gravity defying.