Author: Robin McKinley
Publication: Putnam Juvenile; 1 edition (November 2, 2010)
Description: 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.
My Thoughts: It isn't often these days that a story sucks me in and makes me lose track of time. This one did. I got so involved in the interaction of Sylvi who is the fourth daughter of the human king and Ebon who is the fourth son of the Pegasi king that time just slipped away. The opening sentence, "Because she was a princess she had a pegasus" pulled me in and inspired so many questions.
Sylvi's people came to this land about 800 years previously. They formed an alliance with the pegasi that bonded royals and other important people with the pegasi. The pegasi gave the humans the land and the humans protected the pegasi from other fantastical creatures that preyed on them. But there was a major problem to the alliance. Pegasi and humans couldn't communicate except through human magicians. While they spent time together, they never really could understand each other.
But then Sylvi was bonded to Ebon on her twelfth birthday and things changed. Sylvi and Ebon could communicate clearly mind to mind from the beginning. This turned out to be a major threat to the magician's guild. The magicians had grown used to the idea that they were the only ones who could communicate with the pegasi. This skill gave them a lot of power.
Sylvi is invited to visit the pegasi land. She is the first human to be invited. She goes and, in just three weeks, has her life rocked. She learns so much about the pegasi and herself. However, the political situation at home has her keeping much of what she learned secret from all humans.
This was a wonderful story. Both Sylvi and Ebon and fascinating and sympathetic characters. The world is well drawn and fascinating. My one caveat to saying that everyone should run out today and buy their own copy has to do with the ending of the story. It ends on a major cliffhanger. I want the next book NOW and, from reading McKinley's blog, know that the second book is still a long time coming. But it will be a joy to read this book again when the next volume does appear.
Recommended for fantasy lovers of all ages.
"My darling," he said quietly, and sighed. "What a mess we seem to be in. But if you are ever again moved to tell a powerful magician he is a fool, to his face and in public, would you please warn me in advance?"