Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Scorpio Races Book Review

The Scorpio Races by: Maggie Stiefvater

Where to buy this book

  • Pub. Date: October 2011
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.

(Good Reads Review)
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.

My Review

There's something magical about Maggie Stiefvater's writing. She has this ability to capture my attention with her beautiful lyrical writing, relatable characters and creative story telling. Much like her fey and wolf series, Maggie has a talent for taking a well known lore and making it her own. She does this by taking a mythology that's been around for ages and gives it a fresh, unique, engaging re-telling that's all her own.

The Scorpio Races rich mythology is based on water horses, also known as the capall uisce in this story. This deadly water horse is most active in November, which the races are set around each year on the island of Thisby, a prized thing to capture, if it's captured at all. It's during this time that the men gather their best horses, some of which they've captured from the ocean and learned to control, in hopes of being crowned the winner. This race is one that not only requires great strength, but a keen understanding of your surroundings, as the stakes are high and not everyone lives to tell about it. One of the unique things about Maggie's water horses is their ability to attack and often time kill those who enter their waters.

Along with a heart pounding race is two alternating story lines from four time Scorpio Race winner Sean Kendrick and Puck, also called Kate who's the first girl to ever take part in these races. I really liked the way Maggie not only brought these two characters together, but I loved the way their relationship developed. Sean is the quiet, full of wisdom type. He's also extremely intelligent when it comes to horses and the water horses. He's not just a racer, but a horse trainer and the partnership he has with his wildly tamed horse Corr was my favorite relationship from this story. High fives to Kate! I loved this stubborn girl who didn't let others phase her in her decision to take part in what's known as a man's race. This girl can hold her own, despite the crap she takes from some of the guys and her own personal reasons for entering the race. It takes more than two great main characters to tell a story and Maggie's included some fantastic secondary characters as well.

This is s story that's truly unique, I know I keep saying that, but I can't compare it to anything else I've read. Maggie does such a suburb job with her fantasy. She brings a story to life that has this timeless feel to it. I love it when a story feels that way. I also like that she wasn't afraid to tackle the issues of gender, class structure and I loved the theme of loyalty which went for both the human friendships and the relationships they had with their horses. This story has a lot of great elements to it and it's truly a great fantasy read. There's danger, adventure, family relationships, friendships, a subtle romance, mild violence, a breath taking setting and an element of magic to it. This is a story I'd definitely recommend to readers 13 years and older.

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