As always, here is your spoiler warning, loud and clear. This review will go into detail about everything that happens in this book, from page 1 to page 407. HERE is your spoiler free GoodReads Review. If by chance you haven’t read this book, I suggest you pop on the above link and save yourself from ruining this amazing book.
The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater
Published October 18th 2011 by Scholastic Press
Wow, why did it take me so long to read this book? I went into this book knowing only that it was about horses in some way, and woah was I surprised with that I found! I love Stiefvaters writing style, it draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the last page has been read.
I am loving Puck and I think her nick-name fits her perfectly, she is plucky. Brave, smart and full of energy, she loves her family, her horse and wants to better herself and her chances in life. In saying that, I also Love Sean, and by love I mean love. He is the book boyfriend type, good with horses, a man of few words, and has the power of the sea in his suggestions. He is also quietly confident in himself, he knows his abilities, knows that people’s safety and ultimately, their lives rely on him and his abilities. A lot for a 19-year-old to deal with.
I need to know how Sean got his ability, to whisper with the power of the ocean and have his intentions heard and heeded. Was this his wish that was granted from the Horse Goddess and the Riders Festival? Or was he born with a connection to the ocean that he uses to assist his talents with horses. I think that there is something we aren’t being told surrounding this question. We are being told that he gets another wish, which hints that the first was his ability to speak to horses on a level that they understand. Also How did he learn all of the hints and tricks with the Capalls? With the stones, berries and tracing clockwise circles on their veins. Was it his father who taught him, or did he just come to know it all through his work with them? Or is it also an aspect of his gift?
My heart is actually breaking for Sean, he gambles everything and lost it all, his income, his job, his place to live, and his soul. By losing Corr, he has ultimately lost his soul. He has spent 7 years working with Corr (I know, 7 years!! Makes him incredibly young when he started) and now he has lost the one thing that makes him who he is. Or so he thinks. Corr to me is Sean’s comfort, his security, he feel that as long has he has Corr, he will be okay, he will have something to aspire to, to care for and be cared for in return.
The connection Sean has with Corr is incredible, we already knew that from the first half of the book, but now I am into the second half and see Sean and Corr save the lives of countless men and horses, all due to their connection and Sean’sability to whisper his intentions and have them heard and heeded. We see in all of the other Capall Uisce, that they are damaging, violent, wild things, but Corr wants to please Sean, he wants to look after him, to let him teach him new things. He loves Sean, as Sean loves Him.
The Water horses are mesmerising… or they would be if we were given images to look at. Just the descriptions of them are incredible. Part of me wishes they were real. The folk-lore surrounding them is fantastic, they are these sentient beings, swimming through the ocean, targeting drowning sailors or swimming children, mostly content until November when the oceans get wilder and the rains come, drawing them up onto the beach in inland seeking food. The fact that they are almost impossible to hear coming, that they eat meat and that they are as fast as the wind, are all just chilling factors that make them even more appealing to me!
Time after time the people of Thisby rely on Sean Kendrick to save them. He is who they go to when something happens with a water horse, the one who drops everything to help them, to save them and the horse. Yet he is the outcast, the person no one likes or wants to be around. They all depend on him, yet no one shows him an ounce of kindness. I guess it is true what they say, ‘It is lonely at the top’.
Sean offering Puck a ride on Corr is like him offering her a piece of his soul. Like he so wants her to see the real him through Corr. He wants to be near her, to have that companionship, but he wants to make sure she will respect and care for the one thing in his entire world that means more to him than his own life. Sean and Puck, they make sense, they complement each other and they also challenge each other. Their strength and passion for horses draws them together, but they are both too stubborn and set in their ways to act on their feelings. In a way I am glad for this, this book is amazing as it is without a romantic spin, it doesn’t need it to make the story better, but I would like to see Sean happy. He deserves it.
Omg yes finally a kiss! But it is so much more than a kiss, it is a proclamation, a directive that they are a team, that they are in this thing together and will fight for each other.
George Holly… what an interesting character. He encourages Sean to be his best self, to realise his self-worth, he is also investing in Seans advice, in his knowledge, but he also pushed him. He pushes Sean, he pushes Malvern and he seems to do so in a quite manipulative fashion. What is this guys deal? Is he friend or foe? I think he may be a friend, after all, he has stuck around for Sean and helped him discover what it is that he really wants from life. He is almost a father figure towards the end of the book. Holly hits the nail on the head when he tells Sean, and I am paraphrasing, that his dream is to return to Thisby and purchase the colt from the pairing of his brood mare and Seans Stallion Corr, that he will find Puck in Seans bed and a paddock full of horses in his yard. I think that Sean is also starting to realise that this is his dream. To be recognised properly for all of his hard work. To have someone to believe in him is turning him into a man, just as quickly as finding the woman who will fight with him, and stand by his side.
Mutt Malvern, what a disgusting excuse for a human being. He is malicious, callous and cares for nothing and no one who isn’t himself. The way he can destroy an innocent horse’s life, just to stab Sean in the heart, because of something his father said, is absolutely horrific. This character is definitely the villain of our story. He isn’t even the tiniest bit likeable. I feel pity if anything for him, that his father regards him as a bastard, that he isn’t good enough to be trusted to catch, break and train his own capall uisce. He is cowardly, he makes his decisions based on hate, then doesn’t follow through once he has been confronted. When he took Corr to the beach, he did so because he wanted to show up Sean, not because he thought he could control the horse. He is full of spite and hate and cowardice.
Heck yes Puck Connoly, you did it! You faces the odds, the hundreds of people who doubted you and you won. Your island horse out ran the Capall uisce, she fought hard and bravely and you held her to the finish line! What an achievement. Yes, your achievement is bitter-sweet, poor Sean, poor Corr, but the beauty of Corr being Sean’s is that now he can use him as a breeding stallion to set up that future he never thought he would have access to. Any other owner would simply put him down, but not Sean, if he can get him from Malvern, he will rest him, heal him and together they will build a future.
I’m not crying, you’re crying! What an ending! What an amazing horse, what an amazing read. The strength it took for Sean to let Corr go, to where he could heal and be free, and Corr couldn’t go without Sean. He cried and keened for him to follow, and when Sean didn’t enter the ocean, Corr came back. Needing Sean just as much as Sean needed him.
This book was something else, something special. Showing that love truly does conquer all. That there is strength in friends, in the people you choose to surround yourself with. The character development we see within this book is incredible. We see Puck go from a slightly outspoken child to a brave, strong woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and go after what she wants in life. We see Sean taking advice from someone he never expected to walk into his life, an ally he didn’t know he needed. We see him realising what it is that truly makes him happy, that breaking horses for Malvern isn’t all he needs or wants from life. We see him grow from a boy to a man.
What I love the most about Puck and Sean’s relationship is that there is no obvious sex orientated scenes, like we see in so many young adult novels. They share one kiss throughout the entire book, they barely touch and yet their connection is so strong, it leaps from the pages. That is the kind of relationship I want more of. Which brings me to needing another book. Come on Maggie, tell me more about Sean, more about his and Puck’s future. More about Corr and Holly. There is so much more to be told and experienced.
“I will not be you’re weakness, Sean Kendrick”
“It’s late for that, Puck”
I’ll leave you with that