I love Robin McKinley, I really do. And so I hate to say that I didn’t finish this book. I wanted to finish this book. I wanted to love, or at least like, this book. But I just didn’t.
The concept is interesting: McKinley imagines a world where pegasi are a species of intelligent beings, with language and culture and kings, but fragile ones. So, they make a pact with the humans for protection. They will bond the ruling humans and pegasi together in exchange for keeping the land safe. The only problem is that they need magicians to communicate.
That is, until princess Sylvi bonds with her pegasus, Ebon. They can talk, not just bits and snatches that they come to understand, but really communicate. And, of course (though I never really could figure out why), this causes all sorts of problems.
Honestly? I got bogged down in the setting up of the world. I was halfway through the book, and the story hadn’t hardly started. It was history, it was world building, and while it was interesting, it wasn’t engaging. I wanted it to be. But at some point, I realized it just wasn’t working for me. So, I skipped around and read the ending. Which, if that’s the end ending, it’s just wrong. It’s a horrible ending, and if I had invested even more time in the book, I would have been more upset.
As it was, I was just disappointed. I suppose even Robin McKinley can’t win them all.