Humans came to this land generations ago. There they formed an alliance with the pegasi, defending them from evil creatures in exchange for shelter in Pegasus lands. As a sign of the alliance, members of the royal families of both races are magically bound together when the human comes of age. These ceremonies are performed by the Speakers, the only humans who can understand Pegasus speech, until at the binding of Princess Sylvi and Ebon, when they discover they can understand each other perfectly. This threatens to upset the balance of power between the two kingdoms and break the Speakers’ hold on power, which some people will do anything to prevent.
It pains me to write DNF reviews for authors I love. I started Robin McKinley’s Pegasus about six weeks ago. I could read for a few minutes, and then I would stop. Because I was bored. The people bore me. The pegasi bore me. The history bores me. The potentially sentient sword was interesting, but only shows up infrequently. Yes flying is cool. I got that. Bored. Those caves the Pegasus make seem cool too, but not cool enough to keep reading this story. When I found that I was avoiding reading fantasy because I knew I had to get through this book first, I decided to give up.
After I DNFed the book, I poked around some other websites to see if I was missing something and discovered that Pegasus is only the first half of the story. The tale went so long that McKinley’s publishers split it in half. I would have recommended a severe edit, because while there are elements to a good story here, they are buried in pages and pages of nothingness. From an author who used to write short, compelling novels (e.g. The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown) this is doubly disappointing.