Monday, February 28, 2011

Cover Review (13): Pegasus

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted by Tawni at The Book Worms where a beautiful cover is featured each week for all of us to admire. I am going to use my Cover Crazy posts as an opportunity to review a book cover I love or review any cover (even the ones I don't love) from a book I've read. This week's Cover Crazy is for a cover I adore:  

Pegasus by Robin McKinley

Ok, so I’ll admit it, when I was a young girl I was horse crazy. I mean crazy. It started with My Little Pony, then I added in Barbie’s horses, and then it was just an explosion of every kind of horse figurine I could get my little hands on. Then of course there were the books. If it had a horse on the cover, I probably read it.

I even begged my parents for horseback riding lessons.  Do you realize how big horses are? I mean, fine, ok, I’m a small person and I was even smaller then, but horses are big. I think the stable picked the biggest horse they had, too. So I was perched atop this giant of a horse and I was feeling, honestly, a little mixed.

Part of me felt like I was in the cover of Pegasus. I was all, “Woah, I’m a Horse Maiden! Go me!” and waiting for my hair to start flowing in the wind as my loyal and gorgeous steed cantered across the countryside, inspiring music played in the background, and that warm glow spread across everything.

You know how in movies they sometimes show those fantasy sequences where everything is beautiful, bright, and in slow motion with this pretty “awe-inspiring” music playing? That’s what this cover is, and when I sat on a horse for the first time this was what I was imagining.

But the other part of me? Yeah, that was more like, “Um, what do I do here???” Horses were a lot more magical in books.

Flash forward to now and my heart pretty much stopped when I saw this cover. I was immediately transported back into the imaginings of my childhood.   

You see that girl on the cover? Yeah, that’s me. Well, ok, not really (I’m not quite as awesome as my boyfriend), but I inserted myself there as soon as I saw that gorgeous black (black!) Pegasus plummeting toward her. This cover is like all of my childhood fantasies come to life.

This cover makes me want to play dress up and pretend I’m a princess. I look at that Pegasus and think, “MINE!” When he lands I’ll braid his mane and tail and we can play make believe forever and ever. This cover makes me feel like a little kid with a limitless imagination and the ability to get lost in my dreams. It makes me want to read the book really badly.

The glowing sun under the title makes the entire cover feel bathed in “fantasy magic light.” Like Rivendell. I mean, look at the light on the clouds and on the grass. Tell me that’s not magical!

I love that the Pegasus is black. Sure white is more traditional, but black is captivating! Is he a good Pegasus or a bad Pegasus?  Is he coming to help her or hurt her? I can’t image he’s going to hurt her with all that happy glowing going on, but maybe there’s something a little darker happening in the story.

I also like the balance in this cover. She’s on the bottom, he’s at the top, and the title is written boldly across the middle. It’s all very even. I like that. I also like the swirly font. It kind of reminds me of ribbons, which works with the whole medieval princess thing. Red is the perfect color, too. It really pops without overwhelming the cover.

Is it just me, or does anyone else get a bit of a fish and bird romance vibe? Do you know the story, phrase, whatever it is about a bird and a fish falling in love? The Pegasus (who has a definite masculine feel) is a creature of the sky and the girl is bound to the land and yet they’re still connected despite their differences. I look at the cover and wonder how this connection and opposing worlds vibe will play out in the story.

I wish the book was as good as this cover, but unfortunately I couldn’t finish it. You can read more about that in my Pegasus book review (scroll to the bottom of the linked post). I’m disappointed about the book, but at least I can stare at that cover and make up my own stories in my head.

What do you think about this cover?
Do you like it? Dislike it? 
Does it make you want to read the book?

Interested in covers? 
Be sure to check out another Cover Crazy post by Gina from My Precious.

Previous Cover Crazy posts:
More of my Cover Crazy posts


  1. I'm sad you weren't able to finish it, but I understand. I love Robin McKinley so I was very excited about this book, and while I liked it, I didn't love it like I wanted to. But I agree, the cover is absolutely beautiful.

    While it's not a YA book I would suggest trying Deerskin, also by Robin McKinley, it's one of my absolute favorites of all time. It's been reissued with a new cover that isn't all that great, but the old cover was beautiful and thankfully that's the one I have.

    Great choice for cover crazy!

  2. I agree the cover is gorgeous! It definitely temps me to buy it even though I know it won't be for me.

    I love your story about how you the cover made you feel. Great post :)

  3. I have this book sitting in a box and I have not read it. I need to get it out and read it.

  4. I love this cover too. I was not a horse person as a kid, although I did love My Little Pony. I even had the castle! My favorite pony was the one with colored plastic wings that looked like butterfly wings. I agree that it's interesting that the horse is black instead of the traditional white.

  5. I was totally giggling while reading. I could envision the scene you're talking about, the slow-mo, awe inspiring music playing as this majestic horse soars to the're so right!
    Literally when I look at the cover it feels like my jaw's dropping and I want to look up and hear the angels singing. Definitely a magical cover.
    -and I clicked on that link about your awesome bf and OMG THAT'S SO CUTE AND MAGICAL. That's all :]

  6. The cover really is beautiful... I'm sorry to hear you didn't like it though! (You're not the first person I know that hasn't gotten into it.) I haven't read it, but I love the cover. :)

  7. “Woah, I’m a Horse Maiden! Go me!”

    Muhahahahaha, that cracked me up! Eh, this cover didn't do it for me, and I love Pegasuses and unicorns and all that jazz! I think it felt a little too much like medieval My Little Pony to me. But I adore the post :)

  8. Love the cover so much! I agree: the black pegasus and the red font are genius.
    I was like you when I was younger: collected the models, got the books, went riding. I loved it! Horses are magical, and I can feel what you feel when you look at the cover.
    Such a shame that the book wasn't as good! But I really love the cover!

  9. I adore this cover! And I'm with you on the black pegasus, there is something incredibly striking about a big, black horse:) And look at those wings! *dreamy sigh* I wouldn't mind being the girl on this cover as well, how much fun would it be to live in a world where winged horses exist?

  10. Chelsey, Thank you for the recommendation! I’ve heard good things about Deerskin. I own a copy of The Blue Sword, so I’ll probably give that one a try next. While I couldn’t get into Pegasus, I did love her writing.

    Nic, I wish I could find a print of the cover to hang on my wall. It’s definitely one of those covers that is on the level of artwork for me.

    Savannah, I hope you enjoy it! I did hear there was a pretty big cliffhanger though.

    Alison, Oooh my 5 year old self is insanely jealous of your My Little Pony castle! I loved the flutter ponies too :)

    Laura, LOL, glad my description of the scene translated well :) Glad you like my story too! He even acts like a guy from a book. I’m too lucky.

    Christy, I so wanted to like it because of the cover. I can see the good in it, but I wish it had been written differently.

    Linds, :P I think I would have killed for a medieval My Little Pony!

    The Book Addicted Girl, Hehe we probably had a bunch of the same toys and books! It is a shame about the book. There is a sequel though so maybe things get better then. I can’t wait to see what cover they put on the sequel!

    Jenny, LOL! I just came from your cover critiques, so your big black horse comment just took on all kinds of naughty connotations :P But, yes, I am so glad they went with a black Pegasus instead of white. I would love to live in a world with winged horses. I think you just tapped into one of my childhood birthday wishes!

  11. This cover is seriously stunning in that high resolution pic! Its the kind of one that makes you go wow. I like the red ribbony effect too. But it's a shame the book doesn't live up to its cover.

  12. Hehehe, she could've have been named "Morning Start" pony:

  13. I think this cover would make an amazing poster!
    And I love your story about horses. I used to be obsessed with them too, when I was little, but then when I was like 10, I think, one nearly dumped me into a river... yeah, not so much horse love after that...>.>

    I did have a my little pony that was a Pegasus and I loved it.

  14. Such an amazingly pretty cover. You're completely right, a black Pegasus is book cover eye-candy.


  15. Agreed, another one of my favorite covers. Your horse story was humorous. We live out in the country and are surrounded by horse properties. I've discovered horses are the best when you can admire the neighbor's horses from afar!

    Too bad you didn't enjoy the book as much as everyone is lovin' on the cover.

  16. Yes, most definitely I agree. This cover is amazing. I love that you shared so much of yourself with us, too! I'm also a horse fanatic, but more in theory than in practice. :)

  17. It is a stunning cover! What a great pick!

  18. Beautiful cover! It reminds me of the Princess Bride for some reason. I'm with you on the horses. LOVED My Little Pony. I'm very petite, too. 4'10" actually. In Girl Scouts I went to a Dude Ranch and wanted to ride. The horse they chose was huge (definitely compared to me). I got on and all it wanted to do was buck me off. I never rode again.

  19. Yeah, I didn't get very far into Pegasus before I put it aside for a while and then it was returned to the library before I could take a really good stab at it. From what I recall it seemed quite slow-moving at the beginning and just didn't grab me.

    But the cover is spectacular! Love the use of open space and light in this one.

  20. I LOVE this cover! The scenery is so gorgeous and the font just adds to it.

  21. What young girl isn't obsessed with horses? I still love them. I wanted to say, though, that the girls in my class aren't satisfied with horses or Pegasi--the craze for them is the unipeg. Yep, you guessed it: a combination of a unicorn and Pegasus. A horse with wings isn't enough. It has to have a horn, too.

  22. Me too!! I was (and still am) horse crazy, I mean. It's a good thing for a rider to be small! Like a jockey. I totally agree: this is a simply gorgeous cover. Love the black Pegasus.

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  24. Oh wow, you are hilarious. "Woah, I’m a Horse Maiden! Go me!” and waiting for my hair to start flowing in the wind as my loyal and gorgeous steed cantered across the countryside"

    I was never that big on horses. My thoughts on seeing this cover is that I hope it's kind of similar to Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series, only less smarmy.

    Eva's Book Addiction reviewed it, and she said, there was an almost, but not quite romance feel to it. "If I were either of their parents, I'd be a tad bit concerned" I think is how she put it, which made me giggle.

  25. Love, love, love this cover. I am also a huge fan of McKinley. I rode horses my whole life and still dream of the day when one will sprout wings and fly me away!

  26. I love, love, love this cover. I love it so much that this is the first book by McKinley that I own in hardcover! I wavered on that, but my dad asked for Christmas ideas and this was one of them. I haven't read it yet and have since decided that I won't until the second book comes out because I've heard how upset people are with the ending. Apparently, she split the book in half and it just drops. I hate cliffhangers... So no reading until the second book is out! I guess I could have waited for the paperback after all... Then again, I'll want the sequel right away, so...

    I love the cover though. LOVE. I've always loved horses myself. Like you, I blame it on My Little Pony. Our interests are so similar, it's scary! LOL.

    I can't recall: Did you read Warped by Maurissa Guibord? I LOVED it. Gorgeous 2011 debut. With UNICORNS.


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