Bistro Book Club

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (2 reviews)

lolita.  16
Maggie Stiefvater
The Scorpio Races
2011

this book is about two differnt people sean and puck that have their own reasons to win the races that is known to have killed many of people not really what i was expecting probaly because i got my hopes up from what i heard about it but over all it was a good book

Rating: 4 Better than most

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Andrea F.,    18
Maggie Stiefvater
The Scorpio Races
Scholastic Press    2011

       The Scorpio Races are held every fall on the island of Thisby when the sea washes ashore the capaill uische, or man eating water horses. The water horses are captured, trained, and raced against each other in the deadliest horse race on earth. The book alternates between two points of view, Sean and Puck. Sean loves the water horses despite their dangerous natures and is a four time winner of the races. This time he is racing to win Corr, the water horse that belongs to him in everything but name, from the stables Sean works at. Puck's brother is leaving for the mainland and dumping her with a house that's about to be seized by the bank, spurring her to enter the races to win the considerable purse. Puck can't capture a water horse and because she's the first girl ever entering the race no one will sell her one, so she decides to enter with her ordinary pony Dove. Sean and Puck become friends over the course of the book and both want the other to win but they can't bear losing themselves.

I was impressed at the author's skill at mythology building which I had lost faith in since the Twilight incident. The afterword said that she had made up much of it but it felt old and incorporated much of the traditional spells against fairies in protection against the water horses; salt, iron, the color red. She was able to create a rich magical world but she was focused ultimately on the characters and their relationships with their horses. I'm not much of a horse person so I was worried that like many children's books this might only appeal to enthusiasts but I was pleasantly surprised. Puck's struggle to race gave the book a girl power boost without being suffocatingly gung ho and opened up romantic opportunities. Two very minor criticisms: 1. The title, 2. The characters names. The title was not attractive and the author only referenced it once in the book while not explaining the origins. I finally looked at the astrology page in the newspaper and realized that the races occur in November. It doesn't fit in with the rest of the book's mythology and I wish the author would change it. I have heard several people complain that they could not remember that Puck was a girl but I never remember character's names anyways so it didn't bother me. Overall a fun, magical, gory horse book. 8/10.    

Rating: 4 Better than most

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