Like Cloaked in red, this is marketed to teens, but has much wider, adult, appeal.
There is something magic in McKinley's writing. Something you can sink into and wallow. There is a richness and depth to her language that is uncommon these days. And, it is that complexity that leads me to feel it is more adult-friendly. There is some action - but Pegasus is a more-internal book. It is about understanding, and friendship, and knowledge, and knowing.
Sylvi is the fourth child, and only daughter, of the king. At 12, she is bound to a pegasus - because of a centuries-old alliance treaty. Her bond pegasus is Ebon, son of the king of the pegasi. At their bonding ceremony, Sylvi learns Ebon's name, when he silent-speaks it to her. And, this breaks protocol - and all history. Humans and pegasi do not speak to each other. That's why they have a Speaker - a human magician - to translate. That's why they learn sign language. This leads to a confrontation with a leading magician, and a very careful tiptope around the issues by the kings.
Sylvi and Ebon's relationship - friendship - is deep-rooted and strong. They KNOW each other. Unfortunately, this strength is threatening to other humans. The pegasi see this as an opportunity, a way to bridge the gap.
Its appeal - everything.
However, if your fantasy tastes run to epic action-packed romps, this is not for you.
Thank the writing muses - there will be a sequel to this one!
If you liked this, then try:
- Lots of Robin McKinley (did you expect anything different?) - especially Chalice and Sunshine.
- Patricia McKillip - The Riddle-master of Hed.
- Sharon Shinn - Summes at Castle Auburn.
- Sheri S Tepper - The Gate to Women's Country.
- Charles de Lint - Dingo or Blue girl.