Author: Robin McKinley
Summary: A magical story about the friendship between a princess and her pegasus, following the connection between Sylviianel and Ebon and the connection between the humans and pegasi as a result of a thousand-year alliance. The ending leaves many questions and possibilities for a sequel … which is coming in 2012 (phew)!
Favourite Scene: The beautiful description of Sylvi’s first flight with Ebon.
Favourite Character: Eliona, Sylvi’s mother. McKinley’s women are always strong and Eliona is not a queen puffed up in ribbons but a warrior whose obligations aren’t restricted to her husband and children.
Review: There is no question as to McKinley’s status as one of the stronger contemporary YA fantasy writers as she constructs solid characters in worlds that are so intricately detailed that there’s every possibility she’s visited them herself, her novels a re-telling of her experience in these other-worlds for surely they are too detailed to be imagined! Richly described scenes provide backdrop to the relationship between Sylvi and Ebon which, despite being told in the third person, is dominated by Sylvi’s perspective. While I found the novel to be slow-moving and lacking in action, there was a delightful, languid feeling to the language that allowed me to drift off and imagine the world without getting caught up in battle tactics and court politics as often happens in fantasy novels. Completely absorbed by the relationship between Sylvi and Ebon, and the humans and the pegasi, I found that – more than anything – the novel explored and re-defined notions of the mythical pegasus. I’ve not ever read such an exploration of the fantastical creature! In typical McKinley style, I was left with that feeling of loss I always have when I turn the final page of one of her books. I get lost in the worlds McKinley creates – happily lost and, if I close my eyes tightly, I can imagine the brush of a pegasus feather across my cheek.