I’d heard about Ms. Stiefvater’s latest novel around Twitter and such, but it wasn’t until I read Kelly’s recommendation that I finally buckled down and requested the book from the library. (I had to wait for a few months, since she read it as an ARC, but I did request it back in November.) Thank goodness I did.
THE SCORPIO RACES chronicles the parallel plotlines of Kate “Puck” Connolly and Sean Kendrick as they train for the race that will define their young lives. The Scorpio Races are run on the backs of legendary water horses, flesh-eating predators that, while capable of running on land, usually live and hunt in the sea. They’re as fast as a tidal wave, if you can catch one--and if you can keep it from maiming or drowning you. But death is the least of Puck’s and Sean’s concerns. Puck has to win to keep her family’s homestead out of the hands of the island’s ruthless land baron; Sean has to win to claim ownership of the one thing on the island he’s ever wanted to own: the water horse he’s kept and trained since it trampled his father to death when he was a kid.
I loved the gray, drizzly world of the novel and how deeply I came to care about these characters and what was at stake for them. But most of all, I loved the depth, the realness, of Puck and Sean’s relationship. These two never gushed about how gorgeous the other was (in fact, their physical relationship only culminated in one earth-shattering kiss), and yet the magic between them was palpable. One scene in particular, in which Puck and Sean discussed their race strategies in front of her kitchen sink, just about made me melt. I actually read it OUT LOUD to Honey Bear because it set my heart aflutter and was just so perfect. I haven’t read a romance that soulful, that fulfilling, in a long, long time.
If you like horses, soul-deep romance, or expertly crafted characters with deeply personal stakes, you’ll love THE SCORPIO RACES. I can count on two hands the number of books I buy in a year (I’m really picky about which ones I add to my collection), but Honey Bear is under strict orders to buy this for me for Mother’s Day* (or something). It’s that good.
*He actually bought it for me for our anniversary yesterday. I knew this guy was a keeper:) (He also bought me Penelope, a modern-day fairy tale that came out several years ago. If you haven't seen it, SEE IT (although that will probably prove to be difficult, since I'm pretty sure I now own the only copy in existence). You'll come back and thank me, I promise, and I'll say, "You're welcome," and then you'll spend the next several years of your life trying to hunt down a copy in one of those bargain bins at Walmart. (I'll give you a hint: It's not there.) Then you'll finally break down and order a copy online. But it'll be worth it. SO worth it. (Another hint: James McAvoy.))