Stay alive, stay astride, stay out of the water... Every November, the Scorpio Races are run beneath the chalk cliffs of Skarmouth. Thousands gather to watch the horses and the sea that washes the blood from the sand. The mounts are capaill uisce: savage water horses. There are no horses more beautiful, more fearless, more deadly.
To race them can be suicide but the danger is irresistible. Sean Kendrick knows the dangers of the capaill uisce. With one foot in the ocean and one on land, he is the only man on the island capable of taming the beasts. He races to prove something both to himself and to the horses. Puck Connolly enters the races to save her family. But the horse she rides is an ordinary little mare, just as Puck is an ordinary girl.
When Sean sees Puck on the beach he doesn't think she belongs. He doesn't realize his fate will become entwined in hers. They both enter the Races hoping to change their lives. But first they'll have to survive.
I was expecting action, drama, magic and a great story and I got all that, I wasn't expecting a romance but that was an added bonus. Glad to see that Maggie Stiefvater didn't go the really old style of writing the romance (boy meets girl, they don't get along but spend heaps of time in bed together and finally near the end they realise that they actually love each other) but made both characters equal and strong, both realised that the other was someone special and the most "action" the book told was that they shared a few kisses.
The characters were easy to relate to, I had previously read The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves and really enjoyed them so it was not a stretch to imagine reading and enjoying this book. I was reading to see how the race would end and to learn more of what was motivating the characters to race.
There were a few surprises on how the race went and what happened after. I'm glad that one of the horrible obnoxious characters didn't make it to the end of the book.
I will be keeping an eye open for future books by Maggie Stiefvater as she delivers on what her books promise. I was almost falling asleep but I had to keep reading
This story takes place on the small island of Skarmouth. A place where riders compete in a deadly race every November with capaill uisce which are intense and predatory water horses that emerge from the sea., it is a very dangerous race though as at any moment a horse could tear you off your saddle and kill you.
Wow! Just wow!! Maggie Stiefvater has definitely cemented her status in the YA genre and Scorpio Races is her full access ticket to the game. I've enjoyed her Mercy Falls trilogy for over a couple of years, but this book has definitely pulled her away from the pack and shown she has what it takes to deliver a novel that will have you falling for the characters, emerging yourself in the setting, and feeling the magic.
Up until now only males have competed until Puck (recently orphaned when her parents were killed by these horses). When he older brother decides to leave the island she joins in the race in the hopes of winning not only so that her brother might stay but that the money that she would win.
This story is highly character driven and legend induced. There is good insight into each of the main two characters and they are well built up. The world that they live in is written wonderfully so that you can imagine that you are actually there. Puck is a worthy main character as well. She's strong and determined and willing to do what it takes for her and Finn to survive. She's rough around the edges which makes her such an interesting character.
The bulk of this book is their journey to the race, it isn't till near the end of the book that we finally have the big, life changing race. Still, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to her next book.
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