The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater
On the island of Thisby, deadly water horses rise from the sea every year. These carnivorous beasts have claimed the lives of many–some have been taken while too close to the water and some have been taken during the Scorpio Races. The Scorpio Races are held every year and draw in tons of tourists from the mainland. During the races, men try to tame water horses to race down the beach. It is a deadly spectacle, but one that is tradition on Thisby.
For Sean, his father was lost when competing in the races when he was a young boy. Since then, Sean has dedicated his life to the races and to his tamed water horse, Corr. Corr is the only family Sean has left, but for Sean there is always a threat that he will lose Corr. Sean is only allowed to race Corr because he works for the Malverns, and the Malverns own Corr. Sean is the water horse whisperer of Thisby. He seems to hold some magical secret of how to tame the wild beasts. These abilities have helped in the races, where he has won for the last four years in a row. But for Sean, winning freedom for himself and for Corr is his ultimate goal.
For Puck, both her parents were taken by the water horses while on the beach. That left her with her two brothers, one older and one younger. Puck’s older brother is leaving Thisby and without him they will lose their parents’ house. The only way Puck can think to keep her house and her brother is to compete in the Scorpio Races. Winning the races will provide Puck with the money to insure that she can take care of herself and her younger brother, as well as keep the house. It will also keep Puck’s brother on the island until the races are over. Due to a loop hole in the rules of the Scorpio Races, Puck is not only the first female to race but she is also the first to race a normal horse, her beloved horse Dove.
The Scorpio Races is told in alternating chapters from Sean and Puck’s point of views and it is a captivating read. At first you get to know Puck and Sean as individuals and the hardships that life has thrust upon them. Then, as they become connected from participating in the Scorpio Races, you see their relationship develop. Maggie Stiefvater weaves a wonderful tale that incorporates action and adventure, monstrous beasts, and the love that blossoms between two warriors. Definitely pick this up if you want a good fantasy read. It is fast paced, interesting, and very well-written.