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Cover image for Pegasus
Title:
Pegasus
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2010.
ISBN:
9781101197523

9781101198360
Physical Description:
1 online resource (404 p.)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylvi is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday, but the closeness of their bond becomes a threat to the status quo and possibly to the safety of their two nations.
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Summary

Summary

Because she was a princess, she had a Pegasus...

Princess Sylviianel has always known that on her twelfth birthday she too would be bound to her own Pegasus. All members of the royal family have been thus bound since the Alliance was made almost a thousand years ago; the binding system was created to strengthen the Alliance, because humans and pegasi can only communicate formally, through specially trained Speaker magicians. Sylvi is accustomed to seeing pegasi every day at the palace, but she still finds the idea of her binding very daunting. The official phrase is that your pegasus is your "Excellent Friend." But how can you be friends with someone you can't talk to?

But everything is different for Sylvi and Ebon from the moment they meet at her binding--when they discover they can talk to each other. They form so close a bond that it becomes a threat to the status quo--and possibly to the future safety of their two nations. For some of the magicians believe there is a reason humans and pegasi should not fully understand each other...


Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-By the terms of an ancient treaty, children of royalty in Balsinland are "bound" to a pegasus on their 12th birthdays, in a ceremony cementing friendship between the two. However, humans and pegasi cannot speak to one another without the help of specially trained magicians because the two species communicate in such different ways. So, when Princess Sylviianel comes to her big day, she is nervous about being bound to one of these strange, beautiful, incomprehensible creatures...until, in the middle of the ceremony, she discovers that she can mind-speak to her pegasus-and he can speak back. Such a thing has never been heard of in all the years of the alliance, but to Sylvi and her bond-friend it proves a wonderful gift by which they can promote better understanding between the two species. A few royal magicians, however, do not wish to see free communication develop between them, and they will do whatever they can to keep Sylvi and Ebon apart. This novel is reminiscent of McKinley's The Hero and the Crown (Greenwillow, 1984) and other earlier works, and includes many of her trademarks, including a tendency to ramble through pages of description and backstory, sometimes even in the middle of a conversation. Still, the story is strong and fresh, and the characters are nuanced and believable. Fans will anxiously await the sequel.-Misti Tidman, formerly at Boyd County Public Library, Ashland, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Leisurely in its pacing, but rich in language and character development, this lovely tale concerns young Princess Sylvi and her singular bond with her pegasus, Ebon. Humans and pegasi have maintained an alliance against their land's other murderous species-taralians, norindours, and rocs-over many centuries, despite an almost complete inability to communicate with each other except, with great difficulty, through the aid of human magicians. But Sylvi and Ebon are different. From the moment they meet, they form a telepathic bond, something that could be a boon to both species. The powerful magician Fthoom, however, seeing their relationship as both heresy and a danger to the magicians' power, has vowed to end it. McKinley (Chalice) does a wonderful job of developing the pegasi culture, particularly their art and largely gestural language, as Sylvi and Ebon's relationship grows over the course of several years. Because this is only the first part of what is presumably a two-volume novel, readers may find the book's inconclusive ending frustrating. Despite this, it's an enchanting fantasy that the author's many fans will love. Ages 12-up. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

McKinley's fascination with the magical animal world suffuses Pegasus, as it did her earlier Dragonhaven (rev. 9/07). Descriptions of the culture of a society of winged horses, or pegasi, take central place in this fantasy. Princess Sylvi's people have had an alliance with the neighboring pegasi for centuries, ever since the humans first took over the land. The formal bonding of pegasus and royal human at adolescence is a tradition and lasts for life, but there has always been a language barrier between humans and pegasi -- until Sylvi and pegasus prince Ebon are bonded. Sylvi and Ebon can communicate freely in silent-speech, the pegasi's native language, and in doing so threaten the power of the magician-interpreters of Sylvi's kingdom. McKinley's writing is leisurely and descriptive, full of the enjoyment of imagining the technology, history, culture, and physiology of a society of winged horses as well as the developing friendship between Sylvi and Ebon. What drama the plot has comes hard and fast at the conclusion, abrupt and startling. One of the story's strengths is that it invites readers to, like Sylvi, become "less secure in their humanness" -- to allow other creatures, not human, to define the center of interest and meaning. deirdre f. baker (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Classic McKinley, from the original concept (pegasi!) to the lush, dense prose and the careful unfolding of a nuanced tale. In Balsinland, royal humans are bound to royal pegasi, intelligent winged horses. But despite this, communication is nearly impossible, requiring a magician interpreter and still fraught with failures, and so it has been for 800 yearsuntil Princess Sylvi (small, spunky, overlooked and very bright) and pegasus Prince Ebon are bound and find they can communicate in silent speech. This almost stately tale laced with shimmering strands of humor and menace follows Sylvi and Ebon as they navigate a friendship that is of historical importance even as outside threats begin to press upon both their peoples. In some ways, little happens here, and the cliffhanger ending, on the eve of the eruption of everything, will leave readers desperate for the next installment. But in others, everything happens, as an unlikely but charming friendship across species changes the worldand, as with any great change, threatens some and brings hope to others. Magnificent and magical. (Fantasy. YA)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

It's been almost 1,000 years since the forming of the Alliance an agreement between humans and pegasi that they will live in peace and harmony. But as breathtaking and majestic as the pegasi are, a language barrier, only somewhat ameliorated by magicians, keeps them distant. That is, until 12-year-old princess Sylvi has her binding ritual with Ebon, her black, winged pegasus counterpart, and the two find themselves able to enjoy perfect telepathy. Their closeness shakes the foundations of the kingdom, and soon Sylvi is not only enjoying forbidden rides atop her pegasus but is also extended an invite of historic import: a trip to the pegasi's mysterious Caves. McKinley's storytelling is to be savored. She lavishes page after page upon rituals and ceremonies, basks in the awe of her intricately constructed world, and displays a masterful sense of pegasi physicality and mannerisms. The plot is very short on drama a villain, established early, vanishes until the final pages, and with him goes the suspense but an apparent sequel may add balance to the overall arc.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist


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