Sunday, May 6, 2012

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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.

Reviewer: TigerLily
My review for this book will not do it justice, because it's pretty much the perfect book in my eyes. I was not only hooked from the first page and not able to put it down, but I also fell madly in love with both the main characters of this story.

When I picked up this novel, after reading the description, I thought that the majority of this story would be during the Scorpio races but it turns out that only a very small portion of the ending is during the race. The plot was slow paced but built up more and more until we got to the race, at which point I was almost holding my breath waiting to see what happened because I had already been so connected to these two that I was afraid of what was going to happen to them during and after the race.

From the description you would never be able to tell that this is a story of love. And not just romantic love - which this story does have but it's not the main focus of the novel - but love for your family, your home, the island that you live on, and the horse that you ride. whether it's a regular island pony or one of the capall uisce (the often times evil and flesh eating water horses that only live around the island and no other place).

Puck is a young girl who has already lost both her parents to capall uisce, and is about to lose her older brother Gabe to the mainland because he just can't take the life that they now lead, struggling to get by and often times only having beans to eat. Puck can't understand why Gabe would want to leave, she loves Thisby and the life she lives riding Dove her island pony. Out of fear, she decides to join the Scorpio races to just try and get a little more time with her brother, but she can't bring herself to ride on one of the animals that took both her parents from her so she chooses to ride Dove, even if she is much smaller and her chances of winning are much less.

Sean has won the Scorpio races for years now riding on his capall uisce Corr. The only problem is that Sean isn't the owner of Corr; he is simply a stableboy who is able to understand horses more than any other person around. He is working for a man named Malvern, who owns a majority of the island and who will not sell Corr to him. Sean's desperate need to own Corr finally makes him give Malvern an ultimatum, that he will stop working for him if he doesn't sell Corr to him. After a sudden death, Malvern finally agrees to this, if Sean once again wins the race .

Major spoiler alert - the last two pages of the book were probably the two pages I enjoyed reading more than anything else I've ever read. When Sean let's Corr go back to the ocean (due to an injury he got during the race) because it's the only other thing that the horse loves besides running, I started to tear up. But when Corr picks to go back to Sean, instead of picking the ocean because he loves him more than even his own freedom I was beyond crying, it was the most beautiful scene I've ever read.

The writing for this novel was so beautiful, you could feel the love that these two had for the few things that they treasured in life. Also, at many times this story was very sad and not everything was swept neatly into place but the feelings were always so real, you couldn't help but cry and also feel that it was perfect that way. I'm giving this story 5 stars and wish I could give it more.

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.


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