Series: Pegasus #1
There is a horse-drawn carriage rolling through a scenic meadow. The sun is shining; there are delightful fragrances in the air. The only catch is the you are the sweaty and straining horse, and the carriage you were pulling happened to be occupied by three rather large sombrero-wearing rainbow-colored elephants.
I admit, the sombreros and colors were unnecessary, but you have a vivid mental image now, yes...?
OK, so you're struggling to haul three elephants behind you. But you keep going, because there might just be something satisfying greeting you at the end of the path. maybe some water, a nice cool shade, or a huge pile of oats and other delectable munchies. Instead, what greets you is the edge of a cliff. Apparently, the scenic route has suddenly decided to stop existing. Poof. Gone, just like that.
Thus was my experience while flipping through the pages of Pegasus. Robin McKinley is undeniably one of the best fantasy world-builders I have ever had the honor to read; but the pacing -- it was horrendously slow. I could not read more than two chapters without feeling the urge to bang my head against something hard.* This had to be stomached in small doses, which is why it took me a staggering total of 15 days to read. I had to stop periodically and read other, more frivolous books before plunging back into the story of a princess and her pegasus. This book is truly a test of patience.
Pegasus does redeem itself and earn an extra star for its setting and background history, and the writing style fits nicely with the type of story it is describing. The novel would be a great source for artists trying to paint a fantasy scene. But for readers who are looking for a plot? Not so much...
The ending makes the sequel (exp. publication date: 2012) almost mandatory. There was a slight build-up, and then the book just ended. The expression on my face would probably have scared a few children if I were reading this in public.
Tidbit of random: I want to taste some fwhfwhfwha, too.
*We were working on a rather annoying Chem lab when my dear friend -- always oh so helpful -- offered to print out the Stress Reduction kit for me. Seriously, what have I done to deserve such amazing friends like this? Sarcasm is the spice of life.
oh so unremarkable