Scholastic Press, 409 Pages
Released October 18, 2011
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.
"She is my mare and my best friend, and I keep waiting for something bad to happen to her, because I love her too much."
Rating: 5 / 5
I'm going to admit, I was reluctant to read this. It had been recommended to me, and kept seeing it on lists and blogs and getting rave reviews and when I was given the e-version (averse as I may be to those...) I thought ok, let's give it a shot. Even though I'd read descriptions, I was still unsure. Horses? Races? Magic and myths and the call of the sea? None of that could at all be described as my cup of tea.
Well, I will drink this all for the REST OF MY LIFE.
I was absolutely captivated by this book, almost from the very beginning. The plight of Puck Connolly with her tragic story was enough to make me feel compelled to hope for her, and the quiet strength of Sean Kendrick popped from the pages. Immediately, I had to know Sean - and it seemed like I never would!
When I first started reading, I was a bit like...ok, this is about these Scorpio Races, why is it so far away in the novel? And I feel dumb admitting that, but finally I realized that it wasn't about this Scorpio Race, but about the Scorpio Races, and it's about them the entire time. What it means to this beautiful little island of Thisby and the culture, way of life, everything. It's so much more than just a "horse race" - it's about life, and beauty, and love and caring and home and all the pains and struggles and rewards loving someone means.
Everything about this book is absolutely amazing. The descriptions, the treatments, the plot and settings...Maggie Stiefvater creates a brilliant world and manages to explain the myth in a way that brings it to life and makes me really believe in the magic of the water and the calling of the sea. I was terrified of the water horses and so in love with them at the same time. I hated Mutt Malvern with a passion reserved for only the worst people in my life. I was holding my breath the entire time reading this, a lump in my throat, tears threatening to spill, and hope bursting from my heart. I sent out this tweet towards the end, and it's so true: I felt so raw and emotional!
So, here's the thing. This entire book is a love story to me. Not the romance and relationship kind, but a story about love. What it means to love things, items, property, things-treated-as-property, people, family, memories. It's about happiness and what must be done to attain it, and what must be let go. The sacrifices and terror we'll put ourselves through for the outcome, how sometimes not being able to bear something can show us exactly what we can. It is a love story in it's purest definition, and I love that it seems like the main romance was such a small (but still entirely important) part to it all.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. Even if it doesn't sound your cup of tea, trust me when I say it will be by the end (and probably earlier).
PS. I'm a huge nerd and freaked out when I saw Maggie Stiefvater had tweeted me back, too. Love!
PPS. Because I read it on my iPad, I can show you my ridiculous notes. Normally I wouldn't want to bare my crazy to the world, but still, I think it's funny. Plus, now you can see the quotes I appreciated!
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