(image borrowed from goodreads.com)
I loved this book! Oh my goodness! I listened to it on an MP3 borrowed from my public library, and loved it so much, that I bought a paperback copy. Just so I can shove it in my friends’ faces and say “here! Read this!”
Maggie Stiefvater takes the legend of the water horse and makes it her own (there is an author’s note included in the book about her thought process). She gave us two wonderful characters: Sean, who has grown up around the water horses and loves them, despite their carnivorous ways; and Puck, a girl who is trying to keep her family together after the death of her parents.
The story revolves around the Scorpio Races; a deadly race where riders attempt to control the water horses to the finish line. People die during this race. Sean has won the race 4 times on his horse Corr. Puck, in an attempt to keep her older brother from leaving their home town, enters the races as the first female rider ever.
There is so much courage and love and growth in these two characters. Sean is quiet and tends to keep to himself, not really trusting many other people. He lost his father to the Scorpio Races when he was a child, and seems most comfortable with the water horses. He loves his horse, Corr, and is happiest when riding him.
Puck is feisty. She’s grown up with two brothers and has no trouble keeping up with them. Entering the Scorpio races will hopefully not only keep her older brother from leaving, but also raise the money needed to pay off the debt on their home that has accumulated since her parents died.
The romance between the two is perfect. It’s subtle. It also takes a while to develop, which to me, seems so much more realistic then a lot of the romances found in today’s YA novels. Sean and Puck are a team. They support each other and come up with a plan to make sure they both survive the races. This is the kind of relationship I like to see in books.
I was very surprised by how much I loved this book. I had attempted to read “Shiver” several years ago, but quit half way through when I realized it was a little too similar to “Twilight”. I never thought I would like a book by Stiefvater. This is truly her current masterpiece! It totally deserved the Printz Honor and I really hope that Stiefvater writes another amazing novel like this one.