The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races was written by Maggie Stiefvater and first published in 2011. It is a stand-alone fantasy story which focuses on two teenagers as they prepare to take part in a dangerous race. Since release, the novel has received critical acclaim and been shortlisted for a number of awards. It was also featured on Blue Hen Summer Reading List alongside the likes of The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Daughter of Smoke of Bone, which is how I came to discover it.

The Scorpio Races come at the beginning of every November, attracting many tourists to the Island of Thisby. All that the riders have to do is race from one end of the beach to the other. The problem is that they’re not mounted on ordinary horses. The ride on the capaill uisce – flesh-eating water horses. Their steeds can never be fully trusted and so every year many riders are thrown and devoured.

Sean Kendrick is the returning champion with four victories under his belt. He is a strange young man who keeps himself distant from the other townsfolk. His only love is for Corr, the red capall uisce that he rides. Yet Corr does not belong to him. He is owned by Benjamin Malvern, a local horse breeder, and Sean would do anything to buy the stallion from him.

Puck Connolly is entering the races for different reasons. Her home is about to be reposed and she desperately needs the winnings to buy it back. Yet the capaill uisce killed her parents and so she chooses to do so riding an ordinary horse. This puts her at a huge disadvantage made worse by her gender. As the first and only girl to enter the races, she is met with hostility from the men of the village.

Sean and Puck get off to a rocky start but gradually grow to respect one another. The trouble is that the race day grows ever closer and only one of them can be a winner…

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Shiver

Shiver

The Wolves of Mercy Falls is a paranormal romance series and there are really no prizes for guessing what its subject matter is. The series was penned by Maggie Stiefvater and consists of three main novels – Shiver (2009), Linger (2010) and Forever (2011) – and one stand-alone novel, Sinner (2014). For the purpose of this review, I’ll be looking at Shiver only.

When Grace was a little girl, she was viciously attacked by wolves. The creatures dragged her from her garden and would have eaten her were it not for the strange mercy of one yellow-eyed wolf. The attack did not cause Grace to fear the pack but instead caused her to grow obsessed with them, particularly her saviour who still often could be seen in the woods behind her house.

Six years later, a second wolf attack rocks her home town of Mercy Falls. This time a high school student is ripped apart by the creatures. Panic spreads through the townsfolk like wildfire and it is not long before a hunting party heads into the forest to destroy the lupine threat.

That night Grace finds the yellow-eyed wolf in her garden, wounded and having reverted back to his true form – a teenage boy named Sam. Now Grace knows the truth. All the years that she has spent watching her wolf, he has been watching her back, longing to be with her. Yet their romance must be fleeting. All werewolves eventually lose the ability to regain human forms and Sam fears that his final shift is drawing near…

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