Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The Scorpio Races
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is a Printz Honor Book for 2012.
This tale, told in alternating voices of Sean and Puck, moves slowly, perfect for those who relish the atmospherics. There is still plenty at stake and enough exciting situations, but the forebodingly ethereal island is truly another character. The romance (because of course there's romance) unfolds naturally in the background while the life-or-death risk of the race always takes center stage. The horses are fully developed and compelling in their own right. This is, at its heart, a very grown-up version of a horse book. The sexism Puck encounters after stating her desire to ride in the race (the first woman ever to do so) is all-too-believable and seeing it addressed head-on is a nice bonus. While this book hit a few of my pet peeves (I'll save you the trouble: It's meant to be pronounced CAP-el ISH-ka), it proved a surprisingly mature literary effort; an experience that has improved as I've had more time to contemplate it.
The Scorpio Races is published by Scholastic Press and retails for $17.99 (hardcover). I received my advance reader copy from the publisher (although this review was not solicited or otherwise compensated). You can get yours at Left Bank Books today!