Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Release date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.Review:
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
WHY I PICKED THIS BOOK UP: This was originally a gift from a friend of mine, and I'm not exactly sure why I waited so long to pick this from my shelf. After a post I had last week that asked some of my readers which book I should read and the majority picked this book, I figured it was time to read it.
THE MAIN CHARACTERS: I loved every character in this book because of the setting. Being in Thisby changed the way the islanders acted and their lifestyle. Every character in this book was an essential piece to the story. Dory Maud and her sisters, Mutt Malvern (Sean's "rival"), Gabe and Finn (Puck's brothers) were all extremely important and I love that Maggie didn't make the story only about the two main characters. She incorporated just more than just two people and their struggles; she added secondaries into the story which made it so much more interesting.
First of all, Kate "Puck" Connolly is pretty much made of piss and vinegar. She's smart, and she knows what she's talking about when it comes to horses. Well, land horses, that is. She's a red-head that can come up with a smart remark at the crack of a whip, but not in a cocky way. As some people say in the the book, she "bites", which made me laugh since the capaill uisce bite. She a very strong female protagonist and her bravery throughout the whole book is so admiring. She knows what she wants, and nothing, not even most of the island of Thisby, can stop her from getting it. Plus, she's in check with her emotions, which is a great plus because I think whiny lead characters are a huge let-down in any book. I could go on and on about why I loved her as a character.
Secondly, Sean Kendrick. He's... swoon-worthy. He's so dark and mysterious and fascinating and...ugh, just amazing. In the book, he's the go-to guy for the capaill uisce (which I should mention means "water horse" in the book) at Malvern's stables, and the way he works with these horses is incredible. There are a few parts in the book that he does things are jaw-dropping. Also, he's someone who likes to control his emotions, but becomes unraveled around Puck, which shows how crazy he is about her/cares about her. His love of racing comes from Corr, his dad's and his capall uisce. Again, he's another character I admire because of the dedication he puts into racing, Corr, and anything he loves.
THE ROMANCE: The romance in The Scorpio Races isn't typical to most of the novels I usually read, and it was nice to take a break from the norm. Sean and Puck's relationship was very different. They spent time together often, but it wasn't cuddling, it was training for the races. Their love for each other was built around their love for their horses. They both had something to lose in the race, but were willing to risk pretty much everything for each other. I loved their relationship, it was intense and different, and it was the delicious icing on the November cake.
THE PLOT: The whole plot of this book was amazing. I haven't and probably will never again read anything like this book. The main plot revolves around the Scorpio Races each November, and the stress that the whole island of Thisby goes through. Maggie had no problem describing the transformation Thisby and the islanders went through when the race time came around. Also, the whole book was about horses. I'm a huge horse person, and I used to ride whenever I got the chance, and when I found a book that was based off of an old myth about magical water horses coming from the sea and then being ridden, I HAD to read it. The plot was overall fantastic and this book is so utterly unique. I loved it.
THE ENDING: The ending of this book was just intense. I would not, scratch that, would not put this book down during the last 50 pages. I was going crazy inside from anticipation just wanting to know about what was going to happen. The ending was partially what I expected, but there was a twist to it that made my jaw drop. But, I loved the ending. In my opinion, it was a great way to finish off a great story.
ANY OTHER COMMENTS: The story was great. It was written in both Puck and Sean's perspective, switching usually every other chapter. Maggie Stiefvater had no problem making me feel like I was in the book as an onlooker. Her descriptions weren't overbearing or lacking, they were perfect. Her writing was fantastic, just as it was in The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. For any one who loves horses, please, I beg of you, borrow, buy, rent, do something to get this book because you will be missing a flippin' fantastic read if you don't. I don't have one bad thing to say about this book, and I think everyone and anyone should read it.