Monday, March 26, 2012

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: Fantasy | Young Adult

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.

One year after the death of their parents, Puck & her two brothers are getting by the best way they can within their little village of Thisby. When Puck's older brother, Gabe, declares he is going to permanently leave the island for the main land, Puck brazenly decides to participate in the Scorpio Races that occur ever November, in hopes that Gabe will stay on to assist for awhile longer. Yet, when all the odds turn against her (i.e. threats becasue she is the first female racer in a bloody sport dominated by men, eviction from the only home she has ever know, etc.), can her choice to join the races really help her get the outcome she so deeply desires, and if so - at what cost?

Honestly, I did not really know what to expect upon starting this book, but easily found myself absorbed in the fantasy story of the island lifestyle and the daily interactions of all the villagers and dangerous sea-creatures (i.e. water-horses: Capall Uisce). Puck's easy-going & stubborn temperament was enjoyable and the vivid descriptions of the island, Thisby, really created a reality that peaked both my historical and legendary/mythical interests. The book's narration was shared with a fellow islander, Sean, whose whole life revolves solely around the races. He takes on a very calm & level-headed POV within the book while Puck seems a bit lost & impulsive. It was delightful to slowly realize how much both Pick and Sean complimented each other as they accepted that fact that they could only really trust each other. As the races approach, the adrenaline speeds up for the reader and the tale becomes more gruesome and deadly - so expect a bumpy and entertaining ride!

Likes: Even though this was slated as YA, it carried a heavier subject matter (lots of death) than most and much of the dialogue was geared towards older readers.

Dislikes: I wasn't too pleased with how the story ended. I felt there were too many unanswered questions that an epilogue would have been much appreciated and unfortunately, I don't think a sequel/series will follow. Boo! From MS:
Will there be a sequel to The Scorpio Races? -- I don’t think so. I mean, never say never, but I think I am pretty happy with how it ended.


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