Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I'm so proud of myself for finally figuring out how to spell her name!

The Scorpio Races
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Not my first book by Ms. Steifvater, but my favorite because of the strong characters and a setting both wild and beautiful. One of my top 3 books this year, one of those rare YA books that doesn't feel trope-y.

Sean has raced - and won- the deadly horse races on the Island of Thisby for four years on the back of his sea horse, Corr. Corr is his heart, his future and his only love, but Corr has killed before, and Sean can never forget it. It's an uneasy truce, to say the least, but Sean hopes that if he wins the race this year, he will be able to buy Corr and gain independence from the horse breeder who seems to regard Sean as a possession right along with the horses.

Puck Connolly, sometimes called Kate, is desperate. Her parents are a year dead and she and her brothers struggle to hang on the their house and fill their bellies. When her older brother announces that he's abandoning them for work on the mainland, she enters the Scorpio races as the first girl to enter, on a pony named Dove, to boot. The islanders are sure she'll be dead on the wave-thrashed beach before the race even begins. For the sea horses, the Capaill Uisce, feed on flesh and will pull a rider under the waves if given the smallest opening.

Sean is a quiet young man, serious and strong-willed. I loved his gentle understanding of the horses and the way he and Puck grew to understand, then to love each other.

I loved the island, the water horses, the religious traditions from pagan to Christianity, the beautifully complex characters. Ms. Stiefvater created a story that I cared deeply about and was sorry to finish. It read like a standalone, but I'd be delighted if their were more to this story.

Content-wise, there is a lot of pub-going, some drunkenness. There are several bloody deaths and some fighting. There are a few kisses. I'd think that 13 and up could handle it.

Many thanks to Around the World ARC tours for giving me the chance to read the ARC:)

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  1. You pick some good ARCs to review, Kelly. Thanks for putting this one on my radar!

  2. I haven't read any books by this author, but I've heard good things. I know what you mean about trope-y in a lot of YA. Scary how many of us fall into that. Useful word. :) Thanks for the recommendation!


  3. Hey Krista- I hope you like it.

    And Amy- I thought the same thing about Seagull Rising- not trope-y at all :)

    Thanks for the comments, friends.