The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: October 18th 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Rating : 5 Birds
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.
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
We have a guest Blogger today, my Sister in Law Debbie! She’s the horse expert here and I thought it would be a lot of fun for her to review this novel by one of her favorite authors, about one of her favorite topics!
Be sure to check out our giveaway for The Scorpio Races Book + Leather Bracelet which ends on November 7th
The Scorpio Races is a beautiful story about a girl named Puck who lives on a pretty isolated island called Thisby that seems to be somewhere in England? Or maybe Ireland? She is a horse lover as most of the people on the island seem to be. The Island relies on the tourists that come very year in November for the Scorpio Races which is where the Capaill Uisce horses race on the beach.... seems simple but no theres a lot more to it. The Capaill Uisce are water horses or more accurately demon like man eating horses that get washed up with the tide and if not properly watched or caught, cause havoc to the island by killing livestock and a few people here and there. These horses need to be properly and carefully trained and dealt with and there are few answers to exactly what some of the methods used are actually for... leaves a lot to the imagination which I personally find fascinating but at times annoying as I wanted to know the reasoning behind such actions. Of course there is a boy as with most YA fiction and the love story plays out very well. Sean is a mysterious, sort of moody, quiet horse trainer with an amazing ability to calm and control the dangerous Capaill Uisce He is held in high regard on Thisby for this reason and is called upon as soon as trouble arises with one of the water horses. He works for the Malvern's who own the main yard on the island. I presume, and this again is where there are gaps and lack of information, the yard is mainly a racehorse yard but also houses the best of the Capaill Uisce. There is a son Mutt or Matthew Malvern who hates Sean for what I gathered is the fact Sean is valuable to his father who employs him. Puck is a spirited red head with courage and determination and an “I don't give a damn” attitude towards the men of the island who do not want her in the races. It's refreshing to have a main character that is not a weak, girlie, pushover as you find in a lot of YA fiction. She falls for Sean of course and as I was, is taken by his love towards Corr his Capaill Uisce stallion.
There are more flavorful characters that appear throughout the book including an American who comes to the Island looking for a horse to invest in and ends up befriending Sean. This relationship is a bit weird as I wondered why he cared so much about the goings on of a young horse trainer. There are quite a few gaps which again I think makes the reader fill them in for themselves which is not a bad thing. A few I questioned a little more like how come Puck has never met Sean before when the island is so small? Why don't they go to school? What time era does this all take place in?
The race itself happens pretty quickly and I hoped for more detail as that is what is all lead up to. I did have tears at the end and was surprised by some of the things that happened which was great as it's good to be stumped instead of predicting the correct outcome all the time!
All in all I did love this book and give it 4 stars. Maggie's descriptive writing is beautiful and she has the knack of making the reader 'feel' like they are standing on the cliff looking out towards the moody, dark ocean. At times I could taste the salt and feel the harsh, cold wind whipping at my face. Weather you are a horse lover or not I think this is a story to be enjoyed but I must say that being a horse lover definitely adds towards keeping your interest and understanding. The love story between Puck and Sean is full of little heart stopping moments when he says and does things that weaken her knees. One of my favorites is when Puck says to Sean “I will not be your weakness Sean Kendrick” to which Sean replies very softly “It's late for that Puck” Ahhhh that made me shiver with the memory of teenage love!!!
When I read the authors note at the back I discovered that Maggie did indeed travel to England and presumably to the white cliffs of dover as that is what she describes so well. Being English myself and spending many weekends 'playing' in the frigid sea and hiding out in the little caves of the magnificent cliffs probably made me enjoy this book more than someone that had no clue of that kind of a setting. She accurately describes it and I wouldn't be surprised if she did in fact at one time enjoy a gallop along the beach with the sea lapping at her horses legs.
Find Maggie Sitefvater:
- Web Site
- Merry Sisters of Fate short Stories with Tessa Gratton & Brenna Yovanoff
- Good Reads