Anthropomorphic magical pegasuses go to a school for magical horses.
Aura, a “magical land” that’s “in a distant galaxy,” has four island realms (Winter, Spring, Day, and Night) that are populated by pegasuses. Some pegasuses are Melowies, marked with a hidden symbol on their wings that indicates magical abilities. Melowies are called to school at the Castle of Destiny in the clouds. Frontmatter details these realms, provides a map of the castle, and offers short profiles on the five main characters. The story opens on the day the new Melowies arrive—which is also the anniversary of Cleo’s arrival day (the day she was mysteriously found at the castle, origins unknown, with no Melowy mark). The book centers on Cleo and Maya, a shy pegasus from Spring. During the entrance test, Cleo mistakenly enters and, when Maya asks her to, stays to help—unsurprisingly, she ends up assisting all of the main characters. Though she wasn’t supposed to take the test, as Cleo passed it, she’s now a student. She’s then gifted a necklace she had when she was found—a mysterious locket that won’t open (at least not until a later book). The brightly colored pegasuses have unicorn horns, highly decorative wings, heavy eye makeup, and long, flowing manes—there is not a hint of subtlety about them. The epilogue’s twist foreshadows a threat to Aura.
It’s formulaic, but the audience it’s carefully calculated to appeal to will probably adore it. (Fantasy. 6-8)