Friday, 17 January 2014

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

TW: Animal cruelty

Most of my favorite books have something in common:
Usually I find their beginnings somewhat strange, and a little hard to get into. It happened with Guy Gavriel Kay's book "The Summer Tree", Sharon Fisher's "Ghost Planet", Veronica Rossi, "Under The Never Sky" (whose first pages I had to re-read a couple of times until I was solidly with both feet in that world! lol), and now it happened with this, "The Scorpio Races".

Not that the beginning is troublesome or hard to follow. Mainly, it was somewhat slow _since it was placing the very needed pillars for this amazing world _ and my expectations had made me expect something different, maybe something a bit more flashier. *I'm a putz!*
I'm so glad now, that the author didn't choose that road! ;)

In a different time (I'm guessing somewhat around the beginnings of the twentieth century), and a different place, on the island of Thisby, there's a community that lives for a much expected period: The Scorpio Races.

In Thisby  monsters are real. They're called capaill uisce, and they're sea horses... angry, violent sea horses.

It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.

I have made no secret, that I love beautiful writing! 
This book has it. It may be sharp and bitter-sweet, but it's here!

The island of Thisby

This turned out to be more than a setting. This is a place home of violent reactions: People love it or they just want to leave it behind them...

Some of these characters have Thisby in their blood: The strength of the sea, the sharp edges of the cliffs, the fury  of the wind.

This is what happens with our main characters: Puck (Kate) Connolly, and Sean Kendrick.
These two love Thisby with all they have in them.

Puck knows that she will never leave Thisby. The middle daughter with two brothers, she sees her world turn upside down when her older sibling makes a startling revelation.
For her, racing in the races, ends up being a necessity. For her, and her brothers.

Sean Kendrick, like Puck, is also an orphan. But unlike her, he has no family left. With the exception of Corr, the capaill uisce, that he rides .
For him the capaill uisce are his life. He has been winning the Scorpio Races in the past four years, always aiming for something...

This year will not be different. But what if he were to choose another wish, another goal this year?
In a crossroads in both their lives, these characters will have to grow, and come to terms with what life has dealt them.

The romance
It was artfully done. You see that it's there, but it never obscures the main plot. 
I loved this.

"You two are a strange pair. You are a pair, aren't you?"
"We're in training."

The characters were perfectly described. You can see how Sean is an old soul, unlike what you feel with Puck . I loved how we see Puck growing, and  her relationship with her brothers. Especially with Finn.

The secondary characters were also alive and interesting, just like those two. In fact I wouldn't have minded if I were given more information about Mr. Holly, and a certain romance...

To end this up, I can only say, that this book will make you feel as if you're in Thisby. It will fill you with wonder due to the "amazingness" of the descriptions, but be aware, it will also break your heart.

"His ears are still pricked on the horizon, not toward me. The ocean is his love and now, finally, he''ll have it."


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