Cover image for Pegasus / Robin McKinley.
Pegasus / Robin McKinley.
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2010.

Physical Description:
404 pages ; 24 cm
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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MCK Book Teen Collection

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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...

Author Notes

Robin McKinley was born in Warren, Ohio on November 16, 1952. She graduated from Bowdoin College in 1975 and her first novel, Beauty, was published in 1978. She has received numerous awards for her work including the Newbery Medal for The Hero and the Crown; a Newbery Honor for The Blue Sword; the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature for Sunshine; and the World Fantasy Award for Imaginary Lands. Her other works include Spindle's End; The Outlaws of Sherwood; Rose Daughter; A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories; Chalice; and Shadows.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

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.