‘Pegasus’ takes readers on journey through clouds

Princess Sylviianel understands that turning 12 will be a momentous occasion. It is at that age that all royal family members are bound to a pegasus in a formal ceremony.

Sylvi’s no exception.

For thousands of years the binding tradition has been a key component of the Alliance between humans and pegasi. Specially trained Speaker magicians facilitate communication between the two species, who generally are able to only exchange pleasantries.

But, to this, Sylvi is an exception.

The girl and her pegasus, Ebon, are able to talk to each other from the moment they are bound. This unique ability enables the pair to form a deep connection, and they become best friends.

The land’s magicians ignore the possible benefits of unhindered communication, instead viewing the unique friendship as a threat to both nations’ traditions — and to their own power. As Sylvi and Ebon grow they will face challenges from those with the most to gain from keeping humans and pegasi from truly engaging each other.

Robin McKinley’s lovely fairy tale takes readers to a lush land of kings, queens and mythical creatures. Through her vivid descriptions readers can feel the wind in their hair and see the landscape beneath them as they soar over the land on their own pegasus, the creature’s silky feathers gently tickling their skin.

McKinley at times can be repetitious in her explanation of the two cultures, but for the most part “Pegasus” is captivating.

Readers should be warned though that there’s a sequel. “Pegasus” ends abruptly, and those unprepared will be disappointed and possibly angered. But for lovers of fantasy, “Pegasus” is a colorful set-up for what hopefully will be a dramatic second novel.

Once introduced to the lands of “Pegasus,” readers will want to fly again — though they’ll have to wait until 2012, when “Pegasus II” soars onto bookshelves.

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