March 12, 2013
The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater
Myths about selkies (half woman/half seal) abound in literature, but this is something different: capall uisce (pronounced CAPple ISHka). Commonly known as water horses, they're wild, viscious creatures that come ashore every November on the island of Thisby. The horses are captured, trained, and ridden in the annual Scorpio Races along the beach. Four-time champion Sean Kendrick hopes a win will mean escape from servitude and a horse of his own. The stakes for Kate "Puck" Connolly is even more desperate. She needs to save her family from eviction in the hopes that her older brother Gabe will remain on the island.
Sean's and Puck's outsider status draws them together, but neither can let the other win. But the story's not really about the race. It's more about home and belonging. Sean Kendrick is caught between two worlds - the sea and the land, while Puck loves the island, her home, and her dun mare.
Slow, mysterious and magical, with a beautiful ending, this is a novel to be savored.
For more about the story's origin, go to http://maggiestiefvater.com/the-scorpio-races/the-scorpio-races/.