The Scorpio Races
Oh. My. Word. I'm not even sure how to start...I tried explaining this to a friend, as I was reading, and couldn't find the words then. I'm hoping I can do better now. I'd seen blog chatter about this one, but didn't think anything of it. The title didn't call to me, and for whatever reason, it never 'clicked' that there was a girl on a horse on the cover. Then I actually saw a blog feature talking about the relationship between Puck Connolly and Sean Kendrick, and it registered that not only would this be a good story, but it had mythic horse creatures. Thankfully my library was able to provide a copy, and I began reading. And what an adventure...
Thisby is a tiny little island in the middle of somewhere. (My brain pictured it near Australia). Thisby is special, because every fall, water horses come out of the sea and men risk life and limb (literally) to capture the killer horses, control them, and race them on November 1st. The winner receives glory, honor, and a cash prize. For Sean Kendrick, winning this year means more. If Sean wins, he can buy Cor, his massive red stallion, from Ben Malvern for keeps. And he could easily win his fifth straight Scorpio Race, but something's making him rethink things. That something is Puck Connolly, and her (normal) mare Dove. Puck is racing for her home, a desperate attempt to keep her brothers with her and be able to pay off the mortgage Ben Malvern holds on their house. (Notice a common theme here? Malvern's an interesting character). Puck and Sean find themselves drawn to each other with much the same magnetic pull of the water horses.
The story, told in alternating viewpoints by Sean and Puck, is engrossing. It's foreign, but so familiar. I loved watching Puck 'grow up' during the month or so the novel covers, and Sean didn't grow up so much as discover himself. Their individual journeys make their shared moments that much richer, meaningful. I absolutely loved this, and wish there were more. But at the same time, it all ended just right, which is the best thing possible in a book.
Book provided by my local library.