Friday, October 25, 2013

Book Review - The Scorpio Races.





A spellbinding novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater. Some race to win. Others race to survive. 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 choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience.

***

On the surface, The Scorpio Races looks purely like a fantasy novel, but take away the capaill uisce (pronounced CAP-ul ISH-kuh), and it’s much more like contemporary fiction. This is why I enjoyed it so much. It’s not really a story about racing magical horses – although the race is an important element that holds everything together – it’s more about the island of Thisby, the people who live there, and their relationship with the capaill uisce. The book takes place in the few weeks leading up to the race on these powerful, beautiful – and deadly – animals.

The Scorpio Races is a slow-paced story, but this is its strength. Thisby isn’t bustling like the mainland – there’s no need to rush when there’s nothing to rush for. It’s a poor, quiet island where everybody knows each other. It’s home to Puck, and she never wishes to leave. The Scorpio Races is a humbling tale, imaginative and alive. I could picture it all and I was captivated by its characters, whom I followed right up until the perfect, cinematic ending. It also lacks action, which suits me just fine, but when there is, it’s thrilling. Although I was rooting for Puck – it’s hard not to – Sean was my favourite character to listen to. They’re contrasting characters, but perfectly suited. There’s the inevitable romance, subtle and real. You won’t find instaromance here. Even though Sean and Puck look out for each other, they never take their eyes off the goal – to win.



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