Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"The Scorpio Races" by Maggie Stiefvater

409 pages

Every November, the Scorpio Races come to the island of Thisby. Every November, riders attempt to keep control of their water horses long enough to cross the finish line. Some racers live, but others die. Nineteen-year-old stableboy Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He's quiet and keeps to himself, as he's much more comfortable with horses than people. He's never cared much for the races, despite his talent for winning them. But now his harsh employer has given him the chance to buy his best friend/horse, Corr, if he wins. Puck Connolly  has never ridden in the races--in fact, no female ever has. But with her parents dead, her older brother about to leave the island, and her little brother to care for, she needs the prize money. When she gets her first taste of racing during practice, however, she realizes she's in way over her head. Then she meets Sean, who has the knowledge of the races that she needs to know to have a chance. But only one of them can win, and the stakes have never been higher for either of them. 

I've never read a book quite like this before, and I really liked it. Stiefvater did a great job of creating the atmosphere of Thisby--it felt melancholy and beautiful at the same time. I could just see the dangerous capaill uisce and the water's thrashing waves. The plot is a bit slow and definitely predictable, but I enjoyed the writing so much that it didn't bother me. 

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