A Tuesday Ten: Horsefeathers

This is horribly late in posting because I’ve been trying with some difficulty to compose a different list (more on that sometime soon) but I got a whole bunch of new reading material on Wednesday, and one of the ARCs is a new series that revolves around a society of pegasi (am I spelling this correctly?)  So I figured it was high time to see about constructing a list about these winged equines.


The Guardian Herd: Starfire by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez (HarperCollins, Expected publication September, 2014)

In a land of pegasi, there are 5 different herds, and one colt destined to either destroy them or unite them.  His name is Star and he’s a pegasus who can’t fly . . .  While I’ve seen these kind of plots done with cats, unicorns, owls, bats and dragons, this may be the first time I’ve seen it with flying horses.  I’ve just poked my nose into this one, but I do like how the author has world-built the culture and lifestyle of this community to make it distinct.  This is the first in what will be a series.


Pegasus: The Flame of Olympus by Kate O’Hearn (Aladdin, 2011)

Now unlike dragons or unicorns, which seem to spring from a general mythic background, “Pegasus” is actually the name of the creature created in Greek mythology–if memory serves–from the flow of the Gorgon’s blood.  This series features the actual mythological character Pegasus, in a contemporary urban fantasy set in New York City.  Pegasus crash lands in the city and young Emily comes to his aid . . . and then must come to the aid of the Roman gods against their bitter enemies.  This is the first in the current Pegasus series.  There are four titles to date.


The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis (HarperTrophy, c1955)

Depending on how you consider the Chronicles of Narnia, this can either be consider the first book in the series (in order of timeline) or the sixth book in the series (in order of publication).  Either way, this is the book that introduces readers to Fledge, the newly created Pegasus who was a cart horse brought over from London to Narnia in its first days.  Aslan himself give Fledge wings and a new name, assigning him the task of helping our two young protagonists.


A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle (Turtleback Books, c1978)

The third book in The Time Quintet features a creature called a “unicorn”, but Gaudior is a very special winged unicorn with time-traveling abilities.  More of an alicorn than a simple pegasus or unicorn, but he fits this list just fine!  Gaudior is one of the main characters in this book where the fate of the world lies in both the past and future and one young boy’s efforts to change the course of history.


Airs Beneath the Moon by Toby Bishop (Ace, 2006)

Not quite clear on if this series is more YA or Middle grade, but it’s a school story of sorts, about a young farm girl who inadvertently bonds with a newly born colt and sent to attend and train at the special school where she’s a bit of a fish out of water among the other elite students.  This is the first book in the Horsemistress Saga.


Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce (Scholastic Point Fantasy, c1996)

Admittedly, these critters aren’t a huge part of the story (though they do make this cover) and they’re not the usual winged horsed.  Hurroks are nasty monsters of a sort, horses with batwings and claws and fangs.  In this story they’re one of the baddies sent after our heroine on her quest.  Pretty much an imagining of Pegasi gone bad . . .  This is the fourth book in the Immortals quartet.


Pegasus byMarianna Mayer, illustrated by K. Y.  Craft (HarperCollins, 1998)

The original myth that includes the Greek hero Bellephron and how he befriends the creature Pegasus.   A tale of challenges, friendship and heroes all spun out of the ancient Greek mythology.  It’s quite a a lovely picture book version of the retelling, though it’s made for younger audiences and considerably tailored to leave out some of the elements of the original story.


Moonhorse by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by S. M. Saelig (Turtleback Books, c1991)

At bedtime, while sharing an evening looking at stars, a little girl’s father falls asleep and the little girl takes off on an amazing flight of fancy into space on a winged horse to visit the constellations.  A pretty bed time book that does indeed include the Pegaus!


Valkrist’s Flight by Felicity Brown (HarperFestival, c2008)

Okay, I don’t like to include series like these, but this young reader series from–I believe–Australia is one of the few that features some winged horse characters.  Each book in the series features a different magical horse, all of the stories connected to the bellasara website, which has a whole array of games and interactive media involving magical horses targeted to girls.  Not really my thing, honestly, but I’m trying to be fair by including it here.


The Silver Pony by Lynd Ward (HMH books, c1973)

A wordless picture book where a young farm boy dreams of adventures flying away on a silver pegasus.  Granted, this tale does not end in fantasy, but the dreams are fantastic, as are the images and I think it’s a nice way to round out this list of winged horses!

Phew! That was harder than I thought it would be.  I keep thinking there’s a rural midwestern story about a colt with wings out there somewhere, but so far I haven’t found it in my searches–let me know what books you can think of!  Comments welcome!



About Stephanie Whelan

I'm a children's librarian with a life-long love of all things science fiction and fantasy.

Posted on May 16, 2014, in General Posts, Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I’ll just throw out a nod to Pegasus by Robin McKinley, even though it’s marketed as a teen book… I’m still hoping for a sequel, though!
    And my family always reads Narnia starting with the Magician’s Nephew, because my father and his mother had been arguing publications vs. Narnian time line order…. they wrote C.S. Lewis to ask him which order to read them in, and Lewis agreed with my father on reading them in timeline order.

  2. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    Perhaps you are thinking of “The Winged Colt of Casa Mia” by Betsy Byars? I haven’t read it, but it matches your description…

  1. Pingback: A Tuesday Ten: Cryptic Cryptids and Mythological Monsters | Views From the Tesseract

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