Summer of YA – Part 5 (and probably the last)

Pegasus by Robin McKinley

*Waaaah!* Where has my summer gone? I never got to finish going through my self-appointed summer reading list :(. Now the remaining books are just part of the ol’ TBR stack. I sure miss the days when summer reading meant  lying around all summer doing nothing but reading. Enjoy it while you can, kids, because adulthood will destroy your summertime dreams.

So I’m wrapping up this segment with a quick review of Robin McKinley’s Pegasus or, as I like to think of it, the first half of a great story waiting to be revealed.

In its simplest form, Pegasus tells the tale of the special bond between Sylvi, princess of Balsinland, and Ebon, her pegasi soul-mate. But there is always more to McKinley’s narratives than a simple tale of friendship. There are obstacles! Mysteries! Dangerous magics! And so much world-building that the story almost falls flat when you get to the end and realize you’ve been building up to the worst cliff-hanging, middle-of the-story, what-happens-next?! conclusion. I know there must be a perfectly logical reason the publishers decided this novel needed to be split into two parts, but I cannot imagine what this can be. After learning all about the history of the treaty between the pegasi and human kingdoms, their bonds, the difficulties arising from their inability to communicate effectively, and the unique magic of the pegasi’s memory caves, I was finally starting to get into the story, the action was building, and then it just ends. I almost wish I had waited for the second part before reading Pegasus, then I might be able to respond to it as a complete work.

Yes, this is a great story if you enjoy reading about extremely detailed fantasy realms that feature languages all their own. If you’re not into that kind of narrative, or are not already a McKinley fan, I would not recommend starting with this one (at least, not until the second part is published). Try The Hero and the Crown instead. I love McKinley’s novels but this was a hard one for me to get through.