Monday 25 July 2011

Pegasus - Robin McKinley

Pegasus – Robin McKinley

Pages: 404
Publisher: Puffin (Penguin Books)
Release Date: 7th July 2011

Other Titles by this Author: Beauty, Rose Daughter, Spindle’s End, The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown, Deerskin, Sunshine, Chalice, etc.

On her twelfth birthday Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to her own Pegasus, Ebon.

For a thousand years humans and pegasi have lived peacefully in the beautiful green country beyond the wild lands. They rely on human magicians and pegasi shamans as their only means of real communication- but not Syli and Ebon...

They can understand each other.

But as their bond grows more powerful it becomes dangerous – could their friendship threaten to destroy the peace and safety of the two worlds?

Robin McKinley has an epic reputation in both fantasy and YA circles so when I was offered Pegasus for review I knew I was in for a treat.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed Pegasus I didn't start that way. For the first couple of chapters I was bored. It was all background and very little actual plot and characterisation. But I persisted, and I’m extremely glad I did. Though I still felt that until the last 150-ish pages there was very little plot development and growth of the characters, it didn't really matter. Which I still don't really understand...

I’m still not entirely sure what it was about Pegasus that made me love it the way I did, but I think that Robin McKinley’s unquestionable skill with imagery and world-building. Although I was a little bored by the first chapter in which the history of Balsinland and the humans Alliance with the pegasi, it laid the foundations for the entire story. It also set the bar with its rich, vivid descriptions and the excerpts from the journal of Viktur who witnessed the signing of the treaty. The world that was created was so far away from my life that I was sometimes reading in awe-struck wonder. This surprised me a little as I usually don't really gel with high fantasy worlds.

But what really captured me were the characters in Pegasus. When the book begins, Sylvi is only twelve; a protagonist a lot younger than I usually read. But she is a princess. Instead of a precocious, arrogant and vain young girl she was shy and self-conscious and very relatable. But she eventually grew into a strong and thoughtful young woman with a huge heart. I loved her. And then she was bonded to her pagasus, Ebon, who is cheeky and jovial and a clear compliment to Sylvi’s personality. Their friendship was heart-warming to read about and I loved their interactions.

The whole of the pegasi people have been beautifully created by Robin McKinley. These beautiful, graceful and wholly good creatures had a rich and magical history with their own language that was created (!!) and used in Pegasus and were the envy of all of the humans. The only issue I had with the pegasi was that I found it very difficult to picture them clearly, but that is likely to have been the limits of y imagination as they were described often and intricately.

After an action-packed and heart-stopping ending, I’m very excited to read the sequel, and in the mean time I’m definitely going to have to pick up more of Robin McKinley’s books.

A huge thank you to Puffin for sending me a copy for review.



  1. YES! Yes yes yes! We felt very similarly -- "um, this is a lot of background info... beautifully written and interesting, but still... oh who cares?!" -- and we absolutely fell in love with Ebon and Sylvii. Glad you did too!! And omigosh, when does the sequel come out? We've been waiting for months now!

  2. Nice, thorough review. :D Glad you enjoyed it so much, and this is the first I'm hearing about a sequel! I've been excited about reading this, just haven't gotten around to buying a copy.

  3. I have heard really good things about this book, and now I really want to read it! Great review.

    When you get the chance, please check out my blog!

  4. I haven't read any books by Robin Mckinley yet and I know I should. I own Beauty and Sunshine and they are just sitting there waiting to be read.

  5. This sounds so good, albeit with the slow beginning, the setting sounds amazing.

  6. Robin McKinley is an awesome, old-fashioned writer. I recommend Beauty!

  7. This book definitely has a slow beginning. I put it down and was about to not finish it but I may finish it now that I've read your review.

  8. I really did love this book, and I felt like despite the lack of sword-waving and adventure, it was still suspenseful and fascinating. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

    One Stop Buy


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