Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

Every November, the capaill uisce return. The capaill are water horses, born from the sea. They resemble land horses, but stronger, faster, dangerous, wild, and carnivorous. When the horses come to the island of Thisby, the Scorpio Races take place. Men all over the island claim one of the deadly horses and announce they will race them. Then, the betting begins. This novel tells of two characters orphaned by the capaill uisce and their determination to win the race and prove themselves.
There is Sean Kendrick, the four-time winner of the races. He has a special bond with the horses and can understand and ride them like no other. He is said to have one foot in the sea, and the other on land.
And then there is Kate “Puck” Connoly. She is struggling to make ends meet for herself and two brothers. She has never paid attention to the races but when her older brother announces that he is going to leave the island, she is driven to win the races and her brother back. She is the first girl to ride in the races and not only that, but she’ll be racing with her land “pony” Dove, which is unheard of.
I loved this book! I usually don’t go for fantasy, but this was more like mythology and had the perfect blend of real and imagination. Stiefvater has a magical, lyrical way of writing. The way she describes things puts you under a spell and makes you want more. It’s also really graphic, and made me flinch a few times.
I adored Sean. He’s so simple and quiet and always has so much going on in his mind he doesn’t verbalize. And Puck, I loved her too. Even though she could be a tad annoying at time. The characters are all very realistic and relatable, as Stiefvater’s always are. I love the cover! It’s the same color as blood is when it dries, and there’s a lot of blood in the book so I thought that was pretty cool.
The only negative thing I have to say about this book is the occasionally slow plot. It’s pretty slow, but there are quite a few capturing moments, and those are what keep you interested. If you’re thinking about putting down this book, trust me and just keep reading. It’s worth it. Also, the romance. The sleeve of the book promises romance, and you’re like “This is coming from the author of Shiver. And the story is about a boy and a girl about the same age. They have to fall in love.” But it took so long! They didn’t even meet until like halfway through! So I think that the Scorpio Races is more about a different kind of love, such as family, animals, nature, and of your town.
I’m not a huge fan of horses, but honestly, it didn’t matter with the Scorpio Races. It was fantastic and breathtaking. And I loved it all the same. And the end? I ADORED it. And I loved how there was no epilogue, so it’s up to the reader to decide what comes next. Plus, all the suspense! It’s a race, and you grow to love Sam and Puck. You know they can’t both win, and everything all leads up to that final moment.
For those of you who are wondering how it compares to the Shiver series, it’s entirely different. If you are looking for that breathtaking romance that Sam and Grace had, you’re in the wrong place. However, The Scorpio Races is told in an alternating point-of-view like the Shiver books. Her style of writing is the same, but much more descriptive and wonderful. Please don’t crack this spine expecting romance like Shiver’s, it’s not happening. But open this book anyway, because it’s something else entirely magical. 5 out of 5 stars.

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