Pegasus - Robin McKinley When I saw Pegasus in a catalog I didn’t even need to read the description. I whipped out my laptop and I emailed Penguin and practically begged on hands and knees to please send me Pegasus. They did and I have to give a huge thank you.

McKinley builds a world so fantastical that you want, no you need to step into it. She creates a desire in you to slow down and savor her words and to reflect on every passage for there may be something secret lurking there for you to find. It has been over a week since I first read Pegasus and usually I finish a book of this size in five hours. It took me six days and seven days later I still have her world floating around in my mind.

I think of her world as the Lake District in the UK. It is possibly the closest thing on this earth as beautiful and as lush and as magical as the one Robin McKinley describes to you in Pegasus. The book opens on such a beautiful paragraph:

BECAUSE SHE WAS A PRINCESS SHE HAD A PEGASUS.
This had been a part of the treaty between the pegasi and the human invaders nearly a thousand years ago, shortly after humans had first struggled through the mountain passes beyond the wild lands and discovered a beautiful green country they knew immediately they wanted to live in.

And live in this country they did! Immediately the magicians and the king of the humans signed a treaty with the pegasi shaman’s and their pegasus king and they were allies against the dark beasts that plagued the lands and were driving the pegasi race to extinction.

Humans had stronger hands and better weapons while the pegasi’s bones are brittle and their hands while deft are very small and can’t work around a lot of things.

Princess Sylvi was bonded on her birthday to Ebon. He was a black pegasus which is a rarity and seemed very haughty. Of course the pegasi are so beautiful they seem haughty all the time and the language barrier is so hard to over come being as how only magicians can speak to the pegasi and even then so much gets lost in translation. However Ebon walked up the isle to Sylvi and said words in her mind and she heard them. The magicians began the bonding ceremony and Sylvi began to panic because it felt like they were stripping Ebon away from her not bonding them together.

This day starts a friendship that spans the next four years and a tough four years it is. Ftoom the head magician becomes an enemy because Sylvi can speak directly to her pegasus and he does not like it. Her father sends him to the library to find records of a human being able to talk freely with their bond-mate.

The mythical creatures that the humans thought were under control seem to be making a comeback and everything is happening so fast. The story progresses and the ending is such a delicious stab of a cliff hanger that I am waiting ever so patiently for a sequel. When that day draws closer I will be emailing a furious please oh please letter to Penguin once again. One last quote from the book where I marked 17 pages. This is McKinley describing the pegasi in their natural habitat.

Although Ebon was the only black, the pegasi were variously coloured, from white to cream to gold to copper-red to dark, fresh-ploughed-loam brown and a deep shadow or sliver gre, and the three groups that made the three circles, six or eight spokes around each central boss, seemed to be creating some pattern with some meaning beyond the simple fact of preparation for the flight to come.

If you haven’t read Pegasus pick it up now!