I don’t know if you went through a horse phase, but I definitely did. When I was a little girl, I had this fascination with horses. Racing on a horse is an amazing experience. The pounding hooves are deafening, and your body leans forward, suspended in the air. You and the horse cast a single shadow.
My childhood summers in Pinamar, Argentina were all about riding. I would go to this stable by the beach and get lost in the trails, running with my horse, Saint, for hours. I’d bring him back to the stable, both of us soaked in sweat, brush him, feed him, water him, and kiss him good night. I was 10 the first time rode him, and 16 the last time I did it. The adrenaline of running down the beach with the horse was amazing, the way I knew him and he knew me. I’ll never forget it. Even today, I often think of him and of the amazing connection we had.
With that kind of childhood experience, how could I not pick up Maggie Stiefvater’s newest, The Scorpio Races? It takes place on the island of Thisby, off of some unidentified mainland. Thisby is a small island where everyone knows everyone else’s business and where three orphaned children struggle to fend for themselves.
Stiefvater’s Thisby is an amazing, captivating place, with beautiful cliffs jutting out over a volatile ocean. With the change of seasons, the ocean becomes wild, and the people of Thisby shiver as they hear the water horses’ siren call.
Like shadows from the ocean, the capall uisce rise from its depths. They are not like land horses; they are dangerous predators, driven mad by the November cold. Under the ocean’s spell, the horses become unpredictable, dangerous, skilled killers—they tear apart whatever gets in their way.
But every November, Thisby’s residents capture and race the water horses; the island’s precarious economy depends on it. To race requires strength, courage, perseverance, and the ability to ride a capall uisce along the beach without letting it catapult itself back into the tossing waves, rider and all. Not many can do it, but Sean Kendrick can. He has won the Scorpio Races four years in a row on Corr, his water horse.
But this year, little Kate Connolly is racing too, and she won’t hear otherwise from anyone in town. She wants to race in the Scorpio Races. Maybe it’s because her older brother is threatening to leave the island. Maybe it’s because she thinks Dove, her land horse, actually has a chance against the vicious water horses. Maybe it’s because no other girl in the island has attempted the stunt before. Maybe it’s because of Sean Kendrick, or maybe it’s because the cash she’d win would allow her to keep her house, and maybe her family. No mater her reasons, Puck will confront the ocean. She’ll win, or die trying. After all, she doesn’t have much left to lose.
The Scorpio Races is about a young girl’s passion, her love for her family, and her unflappable determination. It’s a story to find yourself in as you follow Puck’s journey. It’s an amazing adventure, where the characters transform right in front of your eyes, discovering new emotions and the beauty of loving so deeply that you are willing to give your life for the ones you love.
This is an amazing page-turner that needs to be read. Maggie Stiefvater’s lyrical prose spills off the page. The descriptions, the dialogue: every part of The Scorpio Races is captivating, and believe me when I say that you won’t be able to put it down.
The little girl inside me loved every second of it. I was Sean riding Corr down the beach. I could feel the sand lifting in the wind, taste the salty ocean in my mouth. It was a beautiful experience.
The book releases today. Go get yourself a copy so that we can chat about it!
Kay Fraser is a book designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina, residing in Minneapolis. Her dark secret? She is bilingual. When she’s not designing, reading, writing, over-drinking coffee, or chasing around her two little monsters, she’s on Twitter at @kaymfraser or blogging at designcomma.com.