by Robin McKinley
The princess is waiting for a special day when she will be magically bound to a pegasus from the land across the mountains- in honor of a treaty made centuries ago between their two kindgdoms. In this world, pegasi are not mere horses with wings. They are fully sentient beings, with an ancient culture, with their own language and customs. It\’s a story about two very alien races in an uneasy co-existence. Their interactions have been guided and shaped for centuries by rules and rituals- for the safety of all, say the powerful magicians. Who hold a lot of power, because only magicians or Speakers who have studied their entire lives, can translate between pegasus language and humans. But when the princess- fourth child of the king and thus of not much consequence- is bound to her pegasus, something extraordinary happens. It is not just a ritual, it becomes a real thing. She can talk to her pegasus in an easy, direct way no one else has before. They develop a real friendship, and start to make some discoveries about each other\’s worlds. Discoveries which stand to threaten the status quo….
I was eager to read this one, but had trouble finishing it. I saw where the setup was leading to, but it never got there, so the last twenty or forty or more pages lost my interest, and I had to force myself through. McKinley is one of my favorite authors, but this one was difficult for me. I really like the ideas in it, the execution- not so much. It has a lot of formalities, so many explanations, so much building up to something that won\’t happen until a sequel, now. Sigh. But I bet I\’ll read it anyway- I do like the characters and the world-building is intriguing. I want to see how it ends.
Borrowed from the public library.
Rating: 3/5 404 pages, 2010