The Scorpio Races is part fairytale, part heartwarming horse story, and all parts amazing. I need to get this off my chest before I begin this review. I may have a huge author-crush on Maggie Stiefvater. Her prose is so wonderful and it always sucks me in, her characters evoke emotions in me I forgot I had, and even when nothing is happening I feel like the entire world is either coming together or falling apart. Needless to say I heartily enjoyed The Scorpio Races.
The story takes place on a small Irish island inhabited by water horses known as capall uisc, who often kill their riders and others in their attempt to get back to the sea. As the legend goes the capall uisc are in love with the ocean but if a rider can manage to get one out of the water they make the best mounts imaginable. This sets the stage for The Scorpio Races, a race of capall uisc that Kate “Puck” Connelly has decided to race in with her non-water horse, Dove. It is during her training that she learns about her own strength, what is really important to her, and meets Sean Kendrick.
Can I just say that I love all of the characters in this book? Even the “bad guys” who I’m not supposed to like, I ended up liking in the end. Every character has their own distinct personality and reasons for the choices that they make. Puck was a great heroine; her love for the Island was described so well that I fell in love with it too. Puck was everything I look for in a strong heroine. She is independent, takes care of her family and those she cares about, and more then anything she is blunt and herself at all time, sometimes unapologetically so.
Sean Kendrick was my other favorite character. He has lost everything to The Scorpio Races and still participates every year, winning 4 times in the last 6 years. His love for both his capall uisc, Corr, and the ocean were so keen that I could almost feel their sting. I knew exactly how Sean feels about the ocean because I feel it to. The Shhh Shhh sound of the ocean calling, begging you, to come is something that can be so hard to ignore. Both Sean and Corr feel this tug but their link to each other is stronger then that and both of them strive to stay together through some impossible odds. I liked Sean because he was like the sea, both constant and ever changing. His relationship with Puck was sweet and every scene they were together made my heart happy.
The other character in the novel that really had an impact on me were Puck’s younger brother Finn, who is always tinkering with something and can be a bit flighty but truly loves and cares for his sister. The American, George Holly, who always reminded me of old Hollywood combined with a bit of California glamour and Dory Maud who has become something of a second mother to the Connolly kids.
To sum everything up, I really loved this book. I have never ridden a horse but this book made me feel like I had been riding all my life and that I had grown up with the capall uisc. The drawn of the ocean, and the well written prose melded together to become something entirely different then anything I had read before. I definitely recommend picking this one up and I will now be buying myself a copy, since the Library wanted theirs back.
“I say, 'I will not be your weakness, Sean Kendrick.'
Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, 'It's late for that, Puck.”
“He is slow, and the sea sings to us both, but he returns to me.”
“Shhhhhh, shhhhhh, says the sea, but I don't believe her.”
“That's a poor match, Sean Kendrick," says a voice at my elbow. It's the other sister from Fathom & Sons, and she follows my gaze to Puck. "Neither of you are a housewife."
I don't look away from Puck. "I think you assume too much, Dory Maud."
"You leave nothing to assumption," Dory Maud says. "You swallow her with your eyes. I'm surprised there's any of her left for the rest of us to see.”