Pegasus by Robin McKinley
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
No. Just no.
It had such a good premise: humans and pegasi co-existing, humans and pegasi being magically bonded, a fantasy story that didn't seem to be extremely sexist (though very heterosexual), no love story ... we could have had it aaaaaaaaaaaall.
But no. The first 50 pages is just back-story, smacked over your head. You thought Tolkien's prologue to LotR was bad? I ain't got nothing on this, I'm telling you that. It takes even longer than that before the plot starts, well, whatever plot there is, which isn't much.
Basically, Sylvi (human princess) is bonded to Ebon (pegasus prince) and they are special because they can actually speak telepathically to each other which no one else can. Instead they rely on schamans (pegasi) or magicians/speakers (humans) to translate between pegasus and human.
People are immediately pissed that they can speak to each other, because that's obviously bad. Why is it obviously bad? Because the plot demands it to be. The evil magician Fthoom (HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE THAT!?) spends four years researching why it is bad, but what he finds and delivers as a game-changing speak in the last chapters is not something he could have possibly known when he first said it was bad. He just did because the story needed a bad guy.
THe same way it needed rules on how pegasi and humans could interact. They can't fly together, touch each other, speak to each other, blah blah blah for no reason. Ofc our heroine does this all the time and literally nothing bad happens. There just rules for the sake of rules.
The first part of the book is mostly told in flashbacks, even when we're dealing with events happening RIGHT NOW. You'll have situation A presented to you, skip to situation C and then have the character look back at situation B that just happened. WHY NOT JUST GIVE US ABC IN THAT ORDER!? WHY USE THIS NARRATIVE GRIP ALL THROUGHOUT THE FIRST 200 PAGES.
Ugh, it's just ... it doesn't feel edited, at all. Things pop up in the later half of the book that hasn't been introduced before but then they become a normal part of the plot, such as the telepathic link having trouble translating pegasi phrases to Sylvii. It should've been there the whole time.
Plus, there's no plot. It's bascially that Sylvii gets bonded and then goes on vacation to the pegasi land and then she comes home and Fthoom makes his speech. End of book. And oh, the ending wasn't even good, just a lame cliffhanger to force you to read the next book, which I can assure you I won't do because fuck no.
I can't remember the last time it took me this long to finish a book. I've read books twice this long in shorter time than this took me, 'cause I just couldn't be bothered with it. It had a great premise and could've been good, but whoever edited this seriously dropped the ball on this one.
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