What: The Scorpio Races
When: October 18th, 2011
Why: AUTHOR LOVE
How: For Review (BEA)
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
This is no doubt one of my favorite books of 2011.
Maggie takes you away from faeries and werewolves and into this alternate universe in which there is an island where these dangerous water horses are captured once a year and used in a deadly and amazing competition called The Scorpio Races. Sean has won four years in a row and plans on making this his next win while Puck, a girl (which in itself is a problem, because this is a MAN'S GAME), is going in because she has no choice. The plot was wonderful and I loved reading about everything that leads up to the races: the festival, all the foreigners that come in, the training. All the tradition that was woven into the writing was a beautiful touch.
And the WRITING? Maggie Stiefvater never disappoints in that field. The writing was lush and lyrical but still rough depending on who was talking. This book, like most of Maggie's books, is told in a dual perspective: Puck and Sean. And I wouldn't have wanted it any other way! Both writing styles and voices contrasted and worked together in complete harmony and I enjoyed the interactions and emotions between the two form when I could read both sides to the story.
My favorite character had to be Sean, because his relationship with Corr, his water horse, was beautiful and sad and I just felt something pulling at my heart every few minutes. Sean was so sweet and determined and everyone took him for granted and didn't realize how important he was (but I DID. I LOVE YOU SEAN.) Plus, I like that he wasn't so outwardly strong but he was respected and reveled in town and had this sort of air about himself that showed what an amazing person he was, through simple, subtle gestures.
Puck was much more volatile. She was always feeling a million different emotions at once and she yelled and got confused and was so brave, I loved her for it. Really, one of the bravest characters I've ever read about. She's riding in a race with horses twice the size of hers, she's raising a family virtually by herself, plus she's joined this race just so she could save her family and make sure they didn't lose their house. She was so strong, I applaud her. The romance was subtle but sweet, and watching Sean and Puck become friends and then more was one of my favorite parts. Especially since they both have so much to lose if they don't win the race.
Overall, a fantastic, fantastic book that I recommend a million times over.