Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I have had an ARC of Scorpio Races on my shelf for a long while now.  When I saw that the local library had it on Playaway I jumped at the chance to hear the book.  I think that was what I had been waiting for!  It was the best way to experience this book!  Here's the cover and the Goodreads blurb:

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 book is pretty amazing!  I love the idea of ocean dwelling kelpies or water horses.  In most mythology of the British Isles, the kelpies are freshwater dwellers that look either like a beautiful horse or a lovely maiden... and then they drag you into the water to drown so they can eat you.  Selkies or people who have seal skins which can turn them into seals are usually the mythical ocean dwellers of the Isles.  I also enjoyed that Maggie Stiefvater used the Scotch Gaelic term that kelpie is believe to be derived from, cailpeach, which means heifer or colt.  Sean Kendrick was pretty awesome as well.  He starts out as a pretty selfish jerk.  He cares only for the horses.  He wants to win so he will have the leverage to buy his horse and be free to work elsewhere.  Puck is trying desperately to keep her older brother on the island as long as she can.  The two of them eventually share a love of horses that becomes friendship and kinship.  It's not a romance in the traditional sense but more the love that springs from a close friendship.  Finn was fun to read and listen to.  He was funny and surprising.  I don't think I ever forgave Gabe for wanting to desert his brother and sister though.  He just seemed so selfish.  But no character in this story is free of quirks.  Even the local priest is a bit off.  It is all part of the charm of life on Thisby.  This book is a must read! 

You can find out more about Maggie Stiefvater and her work on her website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Click here to find The Scorpio Races on Goodreads.  This book earns 4 Fairies for an amazing read with some seriously scary kelpies!

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