Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Book Review: Pegasus by Robin McKilney

This cover looks even prettier
in person...
Goodreads 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.
New York Times bestselling Robin McKinley weaves an unforgettable tale of unbreakable friendship, mythical creatures and courtly drama destined to become a classic.
My review
Apart from the absolutely stunning cover, what made me want to read Pegasus was the fairy tale like fantasy plot of it because these kind of worlds are so fun to read about. It turned out that this was one of the aspects of the book I enjoyed the most because the kingdom that the protagonist Princess Sylvi lives in  is so original and creative. I love the idea of the races of humans and Pegasi being bonded together and the special but complicated relationship that has stretched out through history starting with the Alliance from over 1,000 years ago. My favourite part of the fantasy side was the descriptions and imaginings of the pegasi who are neither horses nor unicorns because there civilisation and home land was unique and unlike anything I've ever read before. The world and concept held such premise but whilst the concept really appealed to me, the thing that didn't work well was the slow pace and the lack of action. I found this especially in the first chapter because it was mainly a long description of the history of the land and the Alliance between the humans and pegasi, which made me skim over some sections.

 I've never read any Robin MKilney books before but I was impressed with the way the setting was built up with rich and gorgeous descriptions so that the fantasy world became more vivid to me throughout the book. The intricate detail included because of the word building is amazing but I found it was a case of too much of a good thing. Whilst the descriptions were a treat to read at first, too much became boring and tedious at times so that I wasn't able to lose myself in the story as much. Another reason for this was the diversions in the plot that revert to earlier memories that don't move the plot forward and left me feeling confused.

Princess Sylvi was very easy to like and sympathise with because although she's a Princess she's not proud or spoiled but shy and kind. She knows her duty to the Kingdom's people as the fourth daughter of the King and has a cute sense of humour. Oh, and did I mention she goes flying? Her relationship with Ebon was one of the things that kept me reading because their friendship was so sweet as they bought the best out in each other and were prepared to take risks for each other despite what it might mean for their kingdoms. Ebon made such humorous remarks in their conversation too and Sylvie's banter back was fun to read and bought some light hearted comic humour to the book.

The other secondary characters had well drawn personalities such as her mother, the fighting Queen; her father, the dependable King, and the family of Ebon. As there were so many Pegasi characters introduced in a short time frame, only a sketch of themselves could be presented and I struggled to keep track of all their names but I'm interested in finding out more about them in the next book.

One thing I must mention is that this book is one of two parts instead of the first book in a series so unfortunately it's left on a major cliffhanger that stopped right in the middle of the action. I was thinking finally something crucial happens when I realised I'd come to the end. I suppose it's a good thing to enjoy reading a book enough to want to know what happens next but it would have been nice to have a note at the beginning to explain it's part one of a two part book.

Speed Read/Verdict: I liked Pegasus overall because the world spun around the bond between the Pegasi and the humans was really imaginative, the flowery descriptions were vibrant and the loyal friendship between Sylvi and Ebon was lovely to see develop. However it didn't work well as a whole for me and I couldn't become engrossed in it because of the disjointed narrative and overly long descriptions. I would reccommend it to fantasy and fairy tale lovers who are patient in their reading because hiding under the surface is a beauitful tale.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Thank you to Puffin UK for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I hope that you'll read some other Robin McKinley books even though this one was a disappointment; she's such an amazing writer and yet this seemed to go nowhere. I've enjoyed Spindle's End and Deerskin (warning about content for the latter) and found them much more absorbing than Pegasus.

  2. I ran across this book on goodreads and it seemed like a great book, but I didn't read it. Maybe I will try another of her works.

  3. I'm desperate to read this, thanks for the honest review. As I'm familiar with Robin McKinley's writing I'm so interested in this!

    Ink Scratchers

  4. I felt the same way, only I didn't make it to the end. :( I really loved her writing and the story, but everything felt so bogged down with extra description. I also didn't like hte disjointed narrative. I've heard her earlier books are a LOT better.

  5. Oooh, sounded like an interesting read. I'm not sure if I would personally like it...I'm really picky on my fantasy books. Great honest review!

  6. @ Bookworm1858 I haven't given up on Robin McKilney! I could see that she's an author I could enjoy because her writing and characters were great. Thanks for the other suggestions :)

    @Allison From what other people have said, the author's other books seem to be better so you could try one of them first!

    @Smal I remember seeing your DNF comments. That's exactly how I felt but I find it so hard to DNF books and abbandon the story. We should both try and read another of her books!

    @Catol I'd be interested to hear what you think if you do read it :)


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