Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

This may seem weird, but then again, when don’t I seem weird? Maggie Steifvater’s “The Scorpio Races” reminded me off an old movie set in Europe...something like “The Quiet Man”, but more serious. It’s kind of slow moving and it’s very subtle, but I enjoyed it. I found myself content throughout reading it and Maggie’s descriptions of the setting are gorgeous.

Sean Kendrick has nothing of his own. Puck Connoly has been content with her life, but after startling news, she finds she may lose everything she holds dear. Puck rides to save her family from ruin and Sean rides because he has to...because he’d lose the only creature on earth that means something to him if he doesn’t. However, riding in the Scorpio Races is a dangerous thing. You don’t ride normal horses. You ride water horses or capall uisce. They are carnivorous, aggressive beasts that will be happy to eat you or lure you into the ocean and drown you if given the opportunity. Sean lost his father in the races when he was just a boy. Puck also lost her parents to the dangerous horses that lurk in the waters around her island. And yet, here they are - racing for freedom and finding in their struggle a bond that will give them the strength they need to make it through.

As I mentioned in my review of “Forever”, I love the way Maggie writes, I’ve just never been a big fan of her plots or pacing. I think in “The Scorpio Races”, we see Maggie taking things to another level. In this book, she has to create her own lore, instead of modifying lore that is readily available (werewolves and faeries). I have some plot/pacing issues, but I was satisfied from beginning to end. I wouldn’t recommend it to readers who like action-packed fantastical romance. You won’t find that here. Instead, this is a slice of life portrayal about a small island where there are strange horses that come out of the water to eat animals and people. Okay, yes, there is a shroud of mystery and danger, but it’s still very much a part of the regular lives of the island’s residents.

Think of it as a historical (the style of life they lead on the island is very old fashioned and simple) with paranormal elements. If you look at it that way, you may be in for a unique treat.

"The Scorpio Races" is published by Scholastic. I received an ARC from the publisher for review. It was released in October.

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