|Title: The Scorpio Races||Author: Maggie Stiefvater|
|Publisher: Scholastic Press||Rating:|
|Publication Date: 2011||Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology, Horses,|
Why Picked: It was loved everywhere
First Line: “It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”
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 chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
This is one of those times I was so glad I gave an author a second chance. I admit that is a strange way to begin a review but let me back up for a minute. In February of 2011 I read my first book by Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver . I was underwhelmed. It was not a bad book but it did not make me sit up and beg for more of that series and also made me leery to pick up anything else by her. There are just so many things on my TBR list that I couldn’t see reading stuff that I “knew” was three star material. Fast forward to this year, over and over I have seen The Scorpio Races on lists of favorite reads, I have seen people talk about the main characters Sean and Puck. Over and over people are saying this is book that must be read. But it is a book about horses, I whined. I was never a horse girl. I was a dance girl, not a horse girl. Then someone said but they are fairy horses. OMG! Why did no one think to mention that because that is a horse of a different, well, realm all together.
So I read The Scorpio Races and I loved The Scorpio Races. I love the setting and the characters. I loved Sean and Puck. I loved Puck’s fierce love of the island. I understood her brother need to run. And oh those water horses, dangerous and daring and ne’er-to wells. I loved them too.
There were so many things about this story to love. I live in a small rural city. I hear people talk about their love of this place in similar ways in which Puck talks about her love for the island. I have seen people try to leave only to return because they were broken-hearted to be gone. I have also seen people like her brother Gabe, people who will die if they stay; people who have to go. This struggle was so real for me. The heartbreak of it in one family made the rest of the story ring truer.
I also really enjoyed, not sure that is the best choice of words, Puck’s fight to ride, to be recognized as one of the “true” islanders. To be a girl in a world that is dominated by men and trying to make your own way in it is the story of “a mighty girl.” And lately I have been reminded that we need to encourage our girls to be mighty and to know that even in the face of everyone telling them to take their place, sometimes, they need to make their own place. (Thank you to A Mighty Girl for making me think about this every day.)
Oh and when you are done reading this you can get The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater but that is a review for another day.