The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater
The author of the werewolf romance series consisting of Shiver, Linger and Forever, one of my favorite paranormal romance series, has created a unique work with The Scorpio Races. This one is not paranormal romance but something entirely different and is excellent storytelling. On an unnamed,fictitious island in Great Britain, every fall, horses emerge from the sea. These horses are called capaill uisce, (CAP-ple ISH-ka) and are vicious. They attack anyone (people, dogs, cats, sheep, etc.) in the water or onshore with no provocation and eat them. The islanders capture these wild horses and train them somewhat. Every November, they hold the Scorpio races where riders end up dead having been chomped then thrown and trampled. Our two heroes are Sean and Puck. Sean is the horse whisperer of the rich Malvern stables. He races so he can win enough to buy his beloved horse, Corr. Puck is racing her island pony, not one of the vicious water horses. Her parents were both killed by the water horses and she races to make enough money to keep a roof over her head. Never has a girl competed in the races and never has anyone competed on a regular horse because it is simply too dangerous. Puck and Sean tell their story in alternating chapters. Sean is the strong silent type that it is so easy to root for. Puck is the spunky heroine, determined to beat the enormous odds. Well done!