Ugh, this book. In a good
way. In a where-the-hell-is-the-sequel-omgomgomg way. (HOW did I not know this was not a standalone? Be warned! Ye Olde Cliffhanger looms!)
This is the sort of book that would have enraptured me at twelve, and I want to give it to all sorts of twelve year old girls, because above and beyond the really wonderful young girl protagonist, there's also this sneaky, unremarkable, taken-for-granted feminism woven through the entire society that just, I don't know, fills me with hope and joy and fluffy kittens. The absence
of weird gender stuff in a second world fantasy in this book is like taking a breath after years underwater.
It's about court intrigue and it's about being small in a large family and it's about friendship and it's about really excellent worldbuilding of a species (speciesbuilding?) and it's a small, quiet book in a lot of ways even as it's also clearly leading up to a fundamental shift in this society and it plays with a lot of soulbonded-animal fantasy tropes in really entertaining ways even as it is still a book about OMG A GIRL AND HER BEST FRIEND WHO IS A PONY WITH WINGS. Because pegasus. Yes. I'm apparently still twelve.