Author: Maggie Stiefvater
416 pages, Published by Scholastic
Recommended Ages: 13 and up
Buy The Book: Amazon
From Maggie Stiefvater, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shiver series (over 1.7 million copies in print!), comes a brand-new, heart-stopping novel. With her trademark lyricism, Maggie Stiefvater turns to a new world where a pair are swept up in a daring, dangerous race across a cliff – with more than just their lives at stake should they lose.
I discovered Maggie Stiefvater’s beautiful writing style in 2010 when I began reading her Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Shiver, Linger, and Forever (the three books in the series) are wonderful, lyrically written books with a dash of teen angst. I love each of these three books so, so much! At BEA when I heard that Stiefvater had a new book coming out, I couldn’t wait to read it, and I was so happy to get an advance copy. The Scorpio Races is the new book by Maggie Stiefvater, and it does not disappoint. It is awesome, and it is SO different from The Wolves Of Mercy Falls books. With The Scorpio Races, Stiefvater takes on the Water Horse mythology or the capaill uisce as they are referred to in the book. The water horse myth is a beautiful and scary backdrop for what is a truly mesmerizing coming of age story.
At the heart of The Scorpio Races is the community of the island of Thisby. The islanders are visited by the capaill uisce every October. For the month of October the horses roam the island. They are beautiful, strong and terrifying. Unlike normal horses, the water horses view humans and animals as food and live on a diet of blood. The townspeople regard the capaill uisce with a mixture of horror and respect. Maggie Stiefvater truly makes the water horse myth her own. She has created a captivating setting and atmosphere within the world of Thisby that readers will not want to leave.
The Scorpio Races is told from two viewpoints. The first is from the POV of Sean Kendrick, a young man who lost his mother to the mainland and his father to The Scorpio Races when he was a small boy. He lives with and works for a wealthy horse breeder. Sean is a capaill uisce expert and takes care of a capall uisce named Corr.
The other POV in the novel is that of Kate (AKA Puck), a teenage girl who hopes to ride her horse Dove in The Scorpio Races. Kate is also an orphan and she hopes to be able to provide for her two brothers by winning the race. Kate faces many challenges along the way. The main challenge being that her horse Dove is not a capaill uisce like the other horses that will ride in the race and the other challenge being that she is a girl.
Through the eyes of Sean and Kate, Stiefvater tackles many important themes such as responsibility, wealth, love, and poverty. The author takes on the water horse myth with the wild abandon of the stallions she writes about. Around every corner, every page turned, there is a new written jewel for readers to gaze at in awe. Whether it is a chant whispered in a water horse’s ear, a red ribbon bearing bells and iron around a horse’s leg, or the mare goddess wearing a dead horse head that roams the Scorpio Races Festival, Stiefvater’s imagery will enchant you and leave you breathless.
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