Saturday, October 20, 2012
Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater
This is a story told in alternating chapters (or if not alternating every chapter, at least every few chapters) - one chapter by a boy narrator and one by a girl. Both the readers on the audiobook are excellent. I could listen to that Sean Kendrick reader all day long!
Sean Kendrick is the odds on favorite to win the Scorpio Races this year because he's won it already for the last several years. Puck Connolly, the first girl to ever enter the races is not. The Scorpio Races are a horse race, but most of the riders ride on very special horses, water horses, who come from the ocean and have a drive to get back to the water as well. They're fierce and frightening, and will kill a person or another horse as likely as not. Puck doesnt' have a water horse, she has no money, she has no training, and many, many people do not want her riding this race. Sean Kendrick has everything he needs to win, of course, since the owner of his horse is extremely wealthy, but there is one person who definitely does not want Sean riding this race, either. The two make an unlikely friendship, and perhaps more (it is the ever romantic Maggie Stiefvater, after all) as they prepare for the competition.
The story draws from ancient folklore but author Maggie Stiefvater said she realized she could pull only what she wanted from the ancient tales, and she didn't need to use it all, so it's more her own talewith elements of the old stories within it. I am generally not the biggest fan of the magical, but this story had enough of the real in it to be extremely appealing to me. It had incredible tension that was built on many fronts, and it kept me wanting to read (listen) at every opportunity.
I highly recommend this book to middle schoolers and up. It's a fantastic ride (pun intended, it couldn't be helped)!