I had a hard time choosing how well I should rate this book. Especially in regards to stars. Five stars seemed overly ambitious saying something was absolutely perfect seems a little like a lie. But, ultimately I settled for five stars for a few reasons. The first being I really liked this book. I read Linger, Stiefvater’s narrative of the werewolf legend, (which I don’t think I’ve actually reviewed) and wasn’t real taken with it. I love her take on the legend itself. I thought it was interesting and fresh but, I think ultimately Grace annoyed me too much to continue on with the rest of the series. The storyline for The Scorpio Races, however, though not quite what I expected, was solid. The characters, though not always likable, were real, life-like, relatable. This book called to me, just as the ocean calls to the capaill uisce.
I grew up on horse farm until I was 8. I was born on a horse. I could ride by myself before I was five. I held no fear of them. I fed, brushed, and rode them. I sang to them, whispered into their ears. If I were making this up, I would thrash myself for the great injustice I’m doing you, but I can assure you I’m not.
Now, at 25, all my horses are dead. The farm a distant sweet memory. I forgot how much I loved those horses, simply because I tried. I wanted to forget them because I couldn’t go back to them. But this story, brought them back to me of sorts. I can imagine them, like the capaill uisce, these fairy horses that return themselves from whence they came.
The book focuses on two main characters, written from their particular points of view. Though, in the beginning, I felt that the writing wasn’t quite my style, I pressed on through, fighting the urge to just say this wasn’t my kind of book and tossing it off to begin something different, and managed to steadily get the hang of it. Whether the writing got better, or I grew used to it, I’m not sure. The distinct voice of each character is very clear, and the flow and description never waned and eventually began to roll like the ocean’s tide. I imagine, actually, the best analogy for reading this book is like riding a horse. Until both you and the horse get the hang of it, the two bodies bonded as one, it’s a little rough, and uncomfortable, but the end result is freedom like you’ve never felt before.
Puck, or Kate, annoyed me at times, almost as much as she annoyed herself, and I was okay with that. Part of her charm was her lack of it. That and her determination, and abiding family loyalty despite the despicableness surrounding her. Although, whether it was me missing it, or something else I was bugged I never found out why people called her Puck.
Sean Kendrick was a character I felt I waited a long time for. His loyalty, even-tempered quietness, and extraordinary bond with the capaill uisce was exactly what I wanted, I just didn’t know it. I knew his feelings. And even as I claim my title as a writer, I feel I just can’t put to words how deep and connected I am to this book. Awakening in me a magic I had nearly forgotten.
This book was brash, exciting, rough, alluring, all too much like the beach and ocean it so faithfully mentions. I admittedly felt like putting the book down in the beginning. It was difficult, I couldn’t quite grasp this world, the characters were mean and grated on my delicate feelings. But, like Puck riding Corr for the first time, it, in the end, made me feel alive. I was nervous to the point of shaking, and angry too. Sad, feverish, and alive, so alive. Any book that can evoke in me a physical response to emotions deserves five stars.
Whether it was the horse lover inside me, the little girl in boots and a t-shirt, and a tangled brown mess of hair hanging around her shoulders, or the deep mysterious legend lover, wide blue-eyed believer in the mystical, this book spoke to me. I felt the sea, tasted the salt on my lips, felt the wind rip my hair, smelled the horse in my nose, and saw the capaill rise out of the ocean and break free from the waves.
Though this book had a fair few strong words (as in language) it seems to be quite appropriate for any age reader and I highly recommend this Printz winner for a great, exciting read.