Fantasy Celebration: Review & Giveaway: Pegasus by Robin McKinley

Publisher: Puffin
Where did you get this book: Bought
Release date: Out now

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, 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 it’s 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.

*Blurb taken from author’s official website*

I’ve heard many good things about Robin McKinley from our fellow bookpusher, E_booklover, and generally around the blogosphere, but I had never picked up a book by hers. When I was in Forbidden Planet in the last meet-up, I spied a signed copy of Pegasus and Has told me instantly, READ IT! So I bought it, but it stayed hidden away on my bookshelf until the other night. I read the first 40 pages, and by golly, I was already in love with McKinley’s author voice and her extraordinary talent for story telling.

Pegasus is like a fairy-tale story but has so much more scope and attention to detail that I was kicking myself for not reading this author before. It’s a Young Adult fantasy that features Humans, and the Pegasi in which both are bound by a treaty signed many years ago that binds the two different species together. The Pegasi are flying horses with magical abilities, and itty bitty hands that I found to be fascinating. And the story starts and centers around 12 year old, Sylvi, youngest child and only daughter to the King. All of the royal family have bindings to the Pegasi, and as she is coming of age, it’s Sylvi’s turn — but she is not looking forward to it and is scared of the prospect. When that day comes, the most extraordinary thing happens. When Sylvi and her Pegasus, Ebon, are binded together in a ceremony that is watched by everyone — including the Magicians — they make the startling discovery that they are able to speak to one another mentally which has never happened before as the Pegasi and Humans both speak different languages, and they are unable to communicate with one another properly without the aid of the Magician speakers. This causes upset and worry amongst people as even though they signed a treaty, touching a Pegasus is considered to be a sort of taboo. Sylvi and Ebon’s friendship and extraordinary bond changes everything, and not everyone is happy about it.

Firstly, if you’re looking for any sort of romance in this book, there is none. It’s all about the world building and relationship between the Pegasus and Humans, and Sylvi and Ebon are the ones that have changed the status-quo so to speak. There is a lot of attention to detail in this book, so it starts off quite slow but I liked that there was no action immediately. I found myself wanting to know about the details and past history, and it’s definitely a fantasy novel that you can’t rush reading otherwise you’ll miss details that are pertinent to the story — at least, I found it to be that way. Sylvi is not an extraordinary character, and she has no distinct personality, but what makes her special is her friendship with Ebon — who was just awesome. He has so much sass and wit for a horse that it was hilarious, especially his first encounter with Sylvi at the ceremony. And whilst they both cherish their friendship, they know that there is a huge barrier between both species that’s put there by humans. And as the story goes on, it becomes much more obvious that not everything is as happy as it seems on the surface.

What’s so great about this book is the story telling, because it’s so unique and magical that you just want to keep on reading and learning more about why the Pegasus never talk to Humans, and why do some of the Magicians want to keep Sylvi and Ebon apart. It’s so very much like a mystery, and I did find myself getting a little annoyed by how slow things seem to be happening towards the latter part of the book. I was also not expecting this to be a series, so I was pretty miffed when things were not wrapped whatsoever at the end of the book, and I felt like where is the rest of the story? Is that it? And because of that, my grade of the book lowered which makes me super mad because I loved everything about it — except for the ending.

Pegasus is a rich fantasy tale that takes its time to explore and reveal its world, and if you’re looking for a high adventure, this is not the book for you. But I would definitely recommend it for McKinley’s talent for world building, and its almost sleepy fairy-tale aspect that leaves you wanting to know and learn more.

I give Pegasus a A-


Barnes & Noble |

I think this is one of the most wonderful YA fantasy books I’ve read to date, and I want to giveaway one copy of Pegasus. Giveaway is open internationally to wherever the Book Depository ships too. All you have to do is comment below.

24 thoughts on “Fantasy Celebration: Review & Giveaway: Pegasus by Robin McKinley”

  1. I love Robin McKinley’s books – this is one of the few I haven’t read. I definitely recommend The Blue Sword, Hero and the Crown, and Sunshine if you’re looking for a little romance with your fantasy!

  2. @Deirdre: It’s oh so worth the read Deirdre. I was pretty amazed and awed by it.

    @Rebe: I’ve yet to check those out, but I know that ebookpusher loves those books and reviewed them on the blog here 🙂

  3. I love pegasus…your reviews really make it seems special so i would like to discover it.
    Do you know how many book in the serie?

    thanks you for the givbeaway international

  4. @miki: Hiya, Miki. Thanks for commenting. I’m not sure how many books are in the series, but I know that there will be a sequel. I don’t know what the release date will be though.

  5. I haven’t read a Robin McKinley book in so long, I’ve been missing her! Thanks for the review and the giveaway. 🙂

  6. I love Robin McKinley’s work. I have been reading some of the earlier titles recently, and they are really good, though some are disturbing, like Deerskin.

  7. I love nearly all of Robin McKinley’s work except for Chalice. If you haven’t read Sunshine or Deerskin, get thee to a bookstore or Kindle and read them! The premise behind Deerskin is gut-wrenching but the story so well-told and poignant, and if you’re a lover of dogs like me, well, the book can’t be beat. Sunshine is just as good but in a completely different way.

    While pegasi have never interested me, I’ll read this just because McKinley wrote it. I think my daughter will love it as well.

  8. I love Robin McKinley, everything she has written. I haven’t picked up this one, yet. I will read it have no doubt. My favorite by Robin is her reselling of Beauty and the beast, pure magic. Another great one is Sunshine, not much for romance but oh so good!

  9. Jacqueline C.

    I’ve been meaning to start reading McKinley’s work with Sunshine, but I wouldn’t mind this one being my introduction to her.

  10. Thanks for the great post and giveaway! I’ve read great reviews about Ms. Mckinley and I would love to read her book 🙂

  11. The Blue Sword and Hero and the Crown were some of my fav books when I 1st ventred into Fantasy when I was young (a long time ago!!). I can’t believe I never came across Pegasus. Would love to win a copy!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win & for considering international readers. Just love TBD.

  12. The only Robin McKinley novel I’ve read is Beauty and I should really check out more of her titles. I like how green the cover of Pegasus is.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.