Tuesday, April 10

The Scorpio Races: Book Review

The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater
October 18th 2011
 Young Adult | Fantasy

On Thisby, an obscure island, they get their kicks by racing man eating water horses, capaill uisce. Sean Kendrick is the man to beat and is practically a capall uisce himself. Kate (Puck) Connolly sets out to find her path by joining the ranks of racers.  Not only is she the first woman to attempt this but she is determined to win on her faithful Dove, a regular horse. Only one can win and many will die, is it worth the risk?
The cover and title gave me to thinking it was a repeat of the many common horse racing books. Almost completely untrue, as these characters are racing a mythological creature known to eat man. But much like other races there is some jockey to jockey violence and taunting.  Though, once the races start, most know better and keep their focus centered on riding. Otherwise, they might become a buffet for a water horse.
The cover also leads me to feel that Puck Connolly is the main focus of the book. While she is a large contributor, the book is about far more. Two youngsters are trying to find their way in life. The crossroads they find themselves at requires sacrifice. What do they really want for the future and what will they be willing to give for it?
It was fabulous watching the inner turmoil in these two characters.  Each seems to the naked eye to be very confident and self sufficient.  Yet, under that they each have great weaknesses and a longing for something or someone to fill their lonely depths. Once they discover their needs, neither of them will be easily deterred from obtaining them. Both Sean and Kate have a deep love of things that very few around them understand. At the same time they find strength in each other that allows them to overcome obstacles.
The use of the water horses in this story is absolutely riveting. All of the bad motives and people in this book pale in comparison to the water horses. Who, in their right mind, would want to race on a man eating machine? 
The world Maggie Stiefvater creates is a breathtaking page turner. It left me torn over who should win, as both characters were equally deserving. Both characters show us that it is important to find your way and hold true to the course. Read this book and enjoy the vacation, but be grateful you can't partake in the festivities.
Moments Divine:
"You could hurt all the feelings you liked, so long as you weren't hurting the feelings of a Connolly."
"There is again, a tremendously long pause between my question and his answer, and I think that he'll just not reply, and then I think that maybe I only thought the question and didn't actually say it, and then I consider that possibly it had been somehow insulting though by now I can't remember exactly what it was that I said to double-check my words to be sure."
"Oh, hence the sharp apparel. I nearly didn't recognize you in that suit coat."
"I bought it to be buried in."
George Holly claps my shoulders. "Planning on staying trim or dying young, then. Such a wise head on such young shoulders."