Maggie Stiefvater is best known for her werewolf-romance trilogy (Shiver, Forever and Linger) but her newest book, The Scorpio Races, is about horses. On the fictional Irish island of Thisby, they love their man eating horses who emerge covered in salt from the ocean.
I feel that my horse allergies would actually be a survival mechanism on Thisby because I’d be sneezing long before these horses arrived at my front door. The main character, Puck Connolly, is an feisty orphan who has decided to participate in Thisby’s famous Scorpio Races where traditionally, men attempt to tame wild man eating horses (called capaill uisce) and race them. Puck is the first girl to race.
Enter Sean Kendrick – the defending champion of the Scorpio Races. Sean is everything young adult fiction requires: brave, sullen and brooding. There is instant chemistry between Puck and Sean. But don’t be mistaken, The Scorpio Races is no pansy willy nilly vampire romance novel. These kids are racing with MAN EATING HORSES. No, this a great adventure novel with rough and tough characters that beat all odds to get what they want most. And it’s not marriage and demon babies.
My only complaint is how the narration shifts between Sean and Puck. It’s hard to distinguish them from each other. Stiefvater also had a strange writing preference of stating quotes and then explaining them. “WOAH!” said Farah. This was because Farah had just read a crazy book about man eating horses.
All in all, this novel surpassed all my expectations. It also proved that there is no love like the kind between man/woman and their hoofed friends – man eating or not.