The Scorpio Races: Riding the races is a dangerous game, one that won’t be easy to survive, let alone win.
That’s what Kate (Puck) Connolly knows. Living on a exotic island, where the ocean spits water horses every fall, she’s very familiar with the dangers of the race. After all, she’s reminded of it everyday with the absence of both her parents, who both died to one of those beasts. Kate didn’t expect she’d ever race, she had no reason to, but with her brother moving to the mainland, and her childhood house on the line, the Scorpio Races seem like the only option she has to keep her family and her home together.
Sean Kendrick has lived and breathed the races ever since he was a boy. It’s not the race, per se, that he’s concerned about, it’s the horses. Sean has ridden many of those death games, and was lucky enough to win four times. He’s not just a champion in this island, he’s a survivor. Now the races have returned again, and this time he has a purpose to win.
You can win the race, survive with nothing to prove, or die by your own stead. Autumn has rolled around, the ocean has brought the island beasts with the tides; let the races begin.
Review: This was a very good book!
I was surprised hearing that it took Maggie Stiefvater three attempts to create this one story. I’ve read her other works, and was very impressed by the five books I’ve read from her. So it got me wondering about my own writing, and how it’s okay to keep trying at it until the story is right. But her trials really paid off, this was a great story to read about.
At first, the first few chapters were rocky for me. I couldn’t place the characters’ dialogue with their actions, and had a difficult time with understanding the world building. (The fact that the horses only appear in that particular island, but not the rest of the world, confused me. But I now realized that those horses are like penguins, who only live in one area in the world. [Not including zoos/marines.]) As I continued to read, I got used to all the characters, and they kind of clicked into place with the rest of the story.
The writing was very detailed. It helped a lot with envisioning the scenery, and a lot of imaging the horses and characters. The pace is slow in the beginning and three-fourths of the way in, but I enjoyed the slow pace just because I’ve learned to favor it over time.
The story is mainly revolves around the races, everything else is sub-plot. I really really liked how nothing seemed to stray, or if the sub-plots overwhelmed the original purpose of the book. Everything is straight though, from beginning to end, with lots of breathing room in between for some fun banter, character growth, and relationship growth (horse/human, enemies/enemies, opponents/friends, etc.).
I liked a lot of the characters, exceptions to the antags. Puck (Kate) and Sean were definitely favorites of mine. The book switches between both of their POVs, and I came to like both of them equally. At first I liked Puck’s a lot more, but then I started getting used to Sean’s, and his relationship with his horse.
Finn is one of my favorite supporting characters. The only thing that confused me about his character was his true age, which made it hard to picture him. Finn was as innocent as a child, however he could drive a car, and it was mentioned that it was illegal, so I didn’t really know how old he was supposed to be.
Gabe was a wishywashy character for me. He wasn’t too reliable to trust, but he has some redeeming points. So my take on him was a bit neutral.
The rest of the book was written really well, and it got more exciting when the races finally started towards the end. That was the most tense and action filled part of the entire book. Overall, if you like fantasy, horses, and shifting POVs, please give this book a try.
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