Tuesday, January 17, 2012
*The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
In Short: dual point of view, character delving, chilling
I was really excited to begin this book. I had read all of Stiefvater's Shiver trilogy and had enjoyed the romance and the myth woven together. What can I say? I'm a fantasy girl. Also, shortly after its release the book was optioned to become a movie (IMDb shows it in development with a release date of 2015). The Scorpio Races, however, was nothing like that trilogy, however, still really enjoyable.
Kate "Puck" Conolly is an orphan with two brothers (one older, one younger) with a careful watch on the ever thinning contents of the pantry and the jar that holds all the money they have. Sean Kendrick who was abandoned by his mother and watched his father die is the hired "horse whisperer"/trophy racer at the Malvern stables. The Scorpio Races are what drive the two together and the haunting, terrifying, hungry, and beautiful water horses that come asore at the end of October may be the death of them.
On the small island of Thisby the Scorpio Races run on the first of November hold the island's heritage and the greatest source of income for the merchants there. They also, however, are the cause of many deaths. The year Puck decides to join is the first year a woman has ever dared to race. She races to save her family. Sean races for freedom.
My Thoughts: This book started out slow for me, but you get to know a great deal about the characters, the island, and you feel the importance of an event because of this. Once the characters started taking shape in my mind, however, I found the book to be an absolute riveting read. For someone looking for a book as filled with action as one of the Percy Jackson books, I would say borrow first, then buy. Like in Shiver there is romance in the book, but--a little to my disappointment--Stiefvater doesn't dwell on it for extremely long. In all honesty though, the brief moments of romance fit the characters that she had created, so I believe she did them justice.
Red Flags: Little bit of language. There isn't profanity throughout the book, but there are a few instances of curse words as well as a few innuendos and uncooth words. I think the reason Stiefvater chose this diction though is to emphasize and bring a ring of authenticy to the island and fact that a young woman was throwing herself into what had been historically a man's sport. Also, the book--about blood thirsty horses--is a bit violent. You are a witness to death, brutality, and practices that seem barbaric.
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Original Release Date: October 18, 2011
Recipe for November Cakes: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/maggiestiefvater/6505338297/