The Scorpio Races

Maggie Stiefvater, Author
Maggie Stiefvater. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-545-22490-1
Compact Disc - 10 pages - 978-0-545-35702-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-545-35705-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61637-860-8
Paperback - 435 pages - 978-0-545-22491-8
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-545-38827-6
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In her closing notes, Stiefvater (the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy) calls this a book “about killer horses”—terrifying faerie creatures that eat meat and seek to drown humans—and, in virtually the same breath, says that it “isn’t really about water horses.” She’s right on both counts. On the island of Thisby, the Scorpio Races are held every November, when the driven or the crazy ride the beaches on the backs of these mounts. Sean Kendrick does it for love, winning year after year on the stallion Corr; Puck Connolly, pitting her ordinary horse against the killers, does it out of desperation, to win money to keep her home and to earn respect from her older brother, who threatens to desert the family. Stiefvater’s narration is as much about atmospherics as it is about event, and the water horses are the environment in which Sean and Puck move, allies and rivals to the end. It’s not a feel-good story—dread, loss, and hard choices are the islanders’ lot. As a study of courage and loyalty tested, however, it is an utterly compelling read. Ages 13–up. (Oct.)■
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