The thousand-year alliance between the humans and the pegasi has been maintained, in spite of a near-total mutual inability to communicate, by the ritual bonding of individual members of the two royal families: human king to pegasus king, king's child to king's child. Even so, the bonded pairs need interpreters, and each pair is assigned a human magician as Speaker. But when the human princess Sylvi and her assigned pegasus bondmate Ebon discover at their first meeting that they can speak to each other perfectly clearly, mind-to-mind, many on the human side (especially the magicians) are disturbed by the closeness of their friendship.
There was a time when I loved Robin McKinley's work unreservedly, and I still make a point of reading everything she writes. I was particularly pleased to win this one as an advance copy from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers giveaway; I got it in the mail the day before my birthday, a good two weeks before the publication date, so I read it with no preconceptions. But I think I would have liked it better if I had known beforehand that it isn't a whole story in one book; it ends very abruptly, leaving all the plot threads hanging, so there's evidently at least one more volume coming up whenever the characters get around to telling Robin what the rest of the story is.
I will read the rest of the story whenever it appears, of course. I liked the characters, and the description of the thoroughly different pegasus culture was fascinating. I'd have liked a little more resolution, though.