This book totally got me. From the first line to the last I was hooked and invested in the whole of it. If that isn't a good enough reason for you to read this book (Because, hey, I think I have wholeheartedly recommended every single book I've written about on here. So, there is that. I can't help it, I like books and they tend to endear themselves to me eventually). It's being marketed as "If you like the Hunger Games, then read this!" But really? It is nothing like the Hunger games.
The Scorpio Races, written by Maggie Stiefvater, is a book set in a parallel world to our own, on a tiny island off the coast of the UK, called Thisby. And in this seaside town, every November, they run the "Scorpio Races." This is a race which is run on the beach where many people come to race but many end up dying. To be the first across the finish line in the races brings an individual wealth and fame beyond comparison. However, the horses that run are not regular horses, but capaill uisce, or water horses. These beasts emerge from the roaring October seas and are caught by the bravest and most daring individuals to be bought and sold for the races. The capaill thirst for blood and yearn for the sea from which they are stolen; they're dangerous and difficult rides - a fact that those who ride in the races know all too well.
This novel is told from alternating viewpoints of two very different residents of Thisby. At 19, Sean Kendrick is a three time winner of the Scorpio Races. He is quiet and keeps to himself and wants nothing more than a quiet life with his favorite capaill, Corr. Sean works at a local stable and has an innate understanding of all horses, both regular horses and the capaill. Kate "Puck" Connolly is the exact opposite. She is an orphan who lives in her family house with her two brothers. She is a quick-tempered, family oriented young girl who enters the races as a matter of necessity - and as the first female to ever enter the races.
One part love story, one part YA adventure, and one part fantasy - Stiefvater sets up a perfect novel with these characters. Her characterization is amazing - both Puck and Sean are endearing and engaging. And the story she crafts is one that will keep you tied to this book from start to finish.
Date Finished: 7 July 2012
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
First Line: It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.
Last Line: He is slow, and the sea sings to us both, but he returns to me. [whited out for spoiler's sake]
Favorite Line: Now she looks at me. She's fierce and red, indestructible and changeable, everything that makes Thisby what it is.
Recommended: If you like YA fantasy books, this one is totally for you.