Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publication: Scholastic Press (October 18, 2011)

Description: Some race to win. Others race to survive.

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 choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience.

My Thoughts: This story takes an old myth about killer, meat-eating horse that come from the sea and adds in a race with a pretty high chance of dying. Sean watched his father die in the Scorpio Races when he was nine. Now he is the horse trainer for Benjamin Malvern, the man who owns most of Thisby. He still works with and rides the same horse his father did. He has won the races with Corr four times in the last six years. But he doesn't own the water horse and won't be allowed to buy him unless he wins this year's race.

Puck is also determined to enter the race. She and her two brothers are orphans with parents killed by the water horses. The same man who owns Corr owns her home and is ready to evict Puck and her younger brother Finn. Her older brother Gabe has already decided to leave the island for the mainland and isn't taking the younger kids with him. Puck has to win in order to keep her home and her life. She isn't riding a water horse though. She is riding her beloved horse Dove. 

Both young people face obstacles. The men who race don't want Puck both because she is a woman and because she isn't riding a water horse. Sean has to deal with Mutt Malvern, his boss's illegitimate son who is a jealous bully.

This is also a love story with all different kinds of love. Sean loves Corr even though he knows he can't trust him. He loves the feeling he gets when he races in the annual Scorpio races. He loves the sea. Puck loves the island and Dove and her brothers. Soon Puck and Sean fall in love with each other too. 

I love Stiefvater's writing which is both descriptive and subtly emotional. I thought telling the story with two narrators and giving each one their own chapters was a great way for readers to get to know each character, what they valued, and what motivated them. 

I can hardly wait to share this one with my high school students. Horse lovers and fans of romance with both like it. 

Favorite Quote:
I gesture with the jacket. "Do you want me to leave this somewhere?" I only ask it because it's polite. I don't want him to say yes. I don't know what exactly it is I want him to say, only for it to be something that gives me an excuse to stay here watching him for a few more minutes. Admitting this to myself is a sharp blow to my pride as, with the exception of my six-year-old self's desire to marry Dr. Halsal, I'd always thought I was above being fascinated by anyone but myself.
I bought this one. You can get your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I liked her other series, and after this review, def need to make time for this one too.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog


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