Pegasus by Robin McKinley
Synopsis from Robin McKinley's Website:"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."
I am just going to start off with Wow! I finished Pegasus last night about 1:00 am and it was hard to get to sleep with all the thoughts rolling around in my head.
But let me start at the beginning, I started this book last week and I had mentioned that I was having a hard time getting into it. I think the reason I had a hard time is that the first three chapters of the book, you don't really know who the book is going to be about. You have a girl who is having a memory about a lesson she was learning while she was reading a journal of a second commander in her country's history having a memory of the first time his leader's first time seeing the Pegasi. Confused yet?! It was memories inside of memories inside of books of memories *scratches head* I honestly don't believe that all this detailed history was exactly necessary to the whole story line, but if it is I think there could have been an easier way to present it other than shoving it in your face before you even have a connection with any of the characters.
Once you get past that confusing little bit at the beginning of the book, it really gets started rolling! You are quickly absorbed into the scenes and the characters. Robin McKinley did a really great job of portraying the main character Sylvi. She really stuck to how a 12 year old (and later a 15 and 16 year old) would feel about a situation, the questions, confusion and joys that a young girl would find in different situations that she encounters as a princess bound to a pegasus. She is nervous at times, sneaky when she knows things aren't allowed, she get scared and homesick and confused as to who she can tell her secrets to without endangering herself and her friends.
The characters were very believable and easy to become attached to because of how Robin McKinley portrayed them. No one was a hero, no one knew exactly how to fix all the problems, and no one could magically make everything better. They were like real people with their flaws. I enjoyed how the king stays at the castle while the queen is a warrior, definitely a different twist. Sylvi's advisor doesn't give her all the answers, it may be because he doesn't know them or that he wants her to think. I think the 'villian' in the story Fthoom is an ultimate bad guy though, possibly one that I hate the most of all the bad guys I have come across in books I have read.
I can't say much about the ending without giving much away but it left me speechless! It was not the ending I was expecting and it left my mind scrambling over all the questions that arose. There were a lot of 'What Ifs' rolling around and will remain unanswered for some time as the next book isn't expected until 2012.
Overall I give this book 3 Paws and a Stump Wag. I would probably give it a higher rating if it weren't for the difficult beginning and the brief lapses into memories that are hard to distinguish. I would definitely recommend this book to other readers, but be prepared to struggle through the first bit and a few other small sections in the book. All the trouble of getting through that will be worth it! As you will notice that I have a fun new rating system that I will be sure to explain on a page later today ;)