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. (synopsis from goodreads).
After finishing The Raven Boys, I knew I wanted to read more by Maggie Stiefvater and oh was I right. The descriptions in this book were even more beautiful and the world she created was even more original. The race, the adventure, and the rivalries were all intense and engaging, but for me what made this book amazing was the relationship between Sean and Puck. The relationship evolves slowly and naturally. I could actually tell you specific, non-generic things that Sean and Puck like about each other. Ideally this would always be the case, but it’s so unusual in YA relationships that I was thrilled to find a relationship this realistic. I also liked that Sean and Puck both supported each other and helped each other grow.
I found the ending a bit bitter-sweet, but I liked that. I’m not a huge fan of sad endings, but this had enough of happiness in it that it worked for me. It was also moving enough that I showed up at work in tears after finishing it! It was just incredibly well done. The narrators were good enough to do the story justice. Both did a great job infusing their voices with the appropriate emotions. Steve West (Sean) sounded a little old for his part and wasn’t awesome at doing female voices, but I think he got the most important parts right. Fiona Hardingham (Puck) could easily become one of my favorite narrators, since she did do a good job with male voices and I adore her accent. Although the ending was amazing and moving and epic, I was extremely sorry that the book was over. Highly recommended.