Pegasus by Robin McKinley.
G. P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Group: NY, 2010.

McKinley's Pegasus is a contemplative study of what an alliance might look like between humans and Pegasi. It is one of the slowest YA books I've read, but it is interesting.

The two main characters (Sylvi, a human, and Ebon, a pegasus) have a powerful connection, before they even undergo the bonding that all royal members experience when they come of age. They flout the rules of behavior (no flying together), because it seems natural and beautiful to do so. They also communicate telepathically, which others don't seem capable of. There are magicians who interpret for them, and those bonded are trained by the magicians to communicate to an extent through language and gestures. Their parents eventually arrange for Sylvi to visit the Pegasi homeland, which no humans have visited since the original alliance between species. It follows, then, that the two should become ambassadors for the two groups. Except that Sylvi learns than Ebon is not the only pegasus with which she can communicate and there is a politically powerful magician who is working to undermine their influence and even their friendship.

Through her experiences with the pegasi, Sylvi is beginning to see that something has gone wrong with the alliance. The pegasi suspect that their communications have been purposefully misinterpreted. Sylvi wonders if things the humans have been taught since youth might not be true. But with the magician's scheme to gain more power, she doesn't know how much of what she has learned and done is safe to discuss, even with her father, the King.

It must be that there will be a sequel to this book. The end was cut off in the middle of political upheaval, with Sylvi and Ebon separated. I want to see where the story will go from here. Whether or not Sylvi will gain enough confidence to speak for the pegasi.

related-pegasus, Greek mythology, magic, human-animal communication, princesses, friendship

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