Some riders live.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
Published October 22nd 2011 by Scholastic
Kate Connolly ‘Puck’ lives on the island of Thisby, with her two brothers Finn and Gabe. Her parents died so they are left to look after themselves. Skarmouth is a strange little place, every year people travel to the island to watch the Scorpio Races.
The Scorpio Races are very dangerous, people racing on the backs of Capall Uisce,(water horses) wild beasts that wash up from the sea once a year. They cause the deaths of a lot of people every year, and go mad near the sea. Puck decides to sign up for the races. After Gabe tells her and Finn that he is leaving the island. She shows up at the Gratton’s butcher shop to put her name down, along with her little island pony Dove. Leaving the Butchers she catches her first glimpse of Sean Kendrick.
Sean Kendrick is orphaned, he watched his dad die in the Scorpio races nine years ago. He works for Malvern, the richest man on the island who deals in horses. Sean has won the terrifying Scorpio Races four times, on the back of Corr, a blood red Capall Uisce that once belonged to his father, but now belongs to Malvern.Sean loves Corr and has trained him well. Sean has a way with horses, and some say he has one foot on land and the other in the sea. His job every year is to train the Capall Uisce and pick the safest for Mutt, Malvern’s son to ride in the races.
Puck and her family have very little money, with very little jobs on the island to be had they are left doing odd jobs. Gabe works in a hotel in Skarmouth. Mr Malvern calls round unexpectedly to the house and informs Puck that money hasn’t been paid on the house and he is going to evict them all. Puck tells him to wait to after the races.
The men on the island don’t want Puck in the races because she is a woman, and she is riding Dove not a Capall Uisce.Sean sticks up for Puck and the to of them meet every morning on the cliffs, watching the training below on the beach.The two of them are quite drawn to each other. Sean rides with her on the back of Corr, a Capall Uisce she can’t quite bring herself to be frightened of.
The race day dawns and both Sean and Puck need to win. Puck because she needs the money to keep the house that reminds her of her parents, and maybe Gabe will stay. Sean made a deal with Malvern, if he wins the races Malvern will finally sell Corr to him. Sean has always wanted Corr as his own.
The ending broke my heart, I wasn’t expecting it.
For me this book was fantastic, I think it’s either a love it or hate it book, I definitely loved it. I will admit I found this a little bit hard to get into at the start. So I would say to everyone to stick with it as it really does pick up.
Maggie Stiefvater really built a great world here, I believed and felt every word. Maggie as always for me has fantastic writing style. Very strong characters that I really did care about. I was drawn to the alluring water horses, terrifying as they were, to me they were both magical and beautiful.
This a must read book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
A five star read.