by Robin McKinley

Brief Summary: In the land where Sylvi has grown up, it is a rite of passage for royalty to be bonded with a Pegasus to show the thousand year-old Alliance between the two peoples is still a strong one and acknowledged. Because Sylvi is a princess, she is bonded to Ebon, a prince in the Pegasus realm. At the bonding ceremony, Ebon and Sylvi realize they can speak to one another. And not through the mostly misinterpreted sign language or a third-party Speaker that other pegasus/human bondmates use – they can share their thoughts perfectly. But what Ebon and Sylvi see as a blessing, others in her father’s court see as a curse and are determined to put an end to this new form of communication.

Kell’s Chatty Review: I feel like this book is a tale of two parts. I really struggled through the first half (for reasons I’ll discuss below), but really enjoyed the second half of the book – enough to be upset that the sequel isn’t coming out until 2012!

The first half of the book: was a lot of exposition. Explaining history, rites of passage, ceremonies and other (if I’m being honest) semi-tedious things. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the way this information was being presented – sort of in a “stream of consciousness” explanation, which meant that there was a lot of flipping back and fort between time periods and subjects in a few short paragraphs. I understood what was trying to be achieved – almost a written version of an oral history – but for me it made me a little confused and was bringing me out of the narrative a bit.

The second half of the book: made up for the first, with the trip Ebon’s home country and their much beloved Caves highlighting the entire book. McKinley did a great job in making this come to life on the page and really showed the beauty of both the Pegasus people and of their country.

I loved Ebon: he was funny and blunt and great. Sylvi, though, tried my patience a bit. She was a bit on the whiny side and tended to overreact more than I would have liked. But I have hope for her in the second book since there were indications that she was growing both physically and mentally at the end of Book I. Also, there seemed to be some indication that Sylvi and Ebon where more than friends, if you know what I mean, which will be interesting to monitor in the second book.

And the ending: Oye. This is the second ending in so many days that I’ve found to be utterly disheartening, with only my knowledge of sequels bringing a bit of hope to everything. So rough, but an excellent cliff hanger, none-the-less.

Where this book came from: the library!

Seriously, though. 2012! So long to wait!


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