It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
I wouldn't describe myself as someone who loved horses or even enjoyed the riding culture. In fact, I would say that I was a little bit scared of horses. The thing about The Scorpio Races is that it both enthralled and terrified me in the best way possible. Let me see if I can do this book justice. It is quite possibly the most beautiful book I've read in a very long time. There aren't any paranormal creatures or demon slaying heroines, just people surviving on a tragically gorgeous island, somewhere I'd guess was in the Irish Sea, braving mythical horses so terrifying that I won't want to touch a real horse for a very long time.
The story is told between the point of views of Puck (also called Kate) and Sean, two very different characters with the same courage. Sean is a young man of quiet strength trying to achieve his dream. He doesn't just want to win the races; he wants his freedom and the right to call his horse his. Sean races to validate the innate bond and special relationship between him and his horse, while Puck races for what's left of her family. While Sean is quiet, Puck is a wild yet calculated strength determined to prove herself and win the money for her brothers. It's their slow and tantalising relationship that creates an irresistible romance that builds and builds whilst devouring up the book. There is no insta-love here.
The plot was not at all what I expected. I had pictured in my mind some sort of Hidalgo-esque race, but we don't get that. We get masterfully crafted tension. The race itself is very brief, but not disappointing. It's a finale to a story that becomes emotionally driven with action added on the side. So, once readers understand that it has action but is not based upon it, I think it will truly be appreciated as I have appreciated it.
*Audio Review*: I don't know how to describe how fantastic the audiobook was. The two narrators voices were perfect (though I swear that Sean sometimes sounded like a bored Rupert Everett), and the small amount of music was composed and performed by the author herself. It's a beautiful listening experience that only makes the book better.