Happy 2014! Happy New Year of the Horse!
As we begin our new year, so does the monthly challenge of Read Philippines. For Ms. Laila, it is just befitting to start it with a novel that this year is representing for, the horse. Thus, The Scorpio Races of Maggie Stiefvater, was chosen.
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.
At first, i had difficulty in grasping the idea of a race alone. Ive never been on or watched any kind of race before, if you are not going to count the movies of Fast and Furious or the levels in the Need for Speed video games. Thus, this novel had a slow start for me. And thinking about it now, that was really the intention of the story. Slowly building the characters, Sean and Puck, in your system, so that the readers will know and feel where are they coming from. Maggie used dual narration to show each character’s strength and weaknesses, plus, their own different perception towards the coming race. Plus, the bond flowing between Sean and Corr, Puck and Dove, she established them slowly but very surely.
The story revolved around the horses. But not just the normal horses that we know, it was about the water horses, capaill uisce. And truly at first, Maggie was able to make me believe that such creature existed. Really, it was halfway through that i’ve realized that this was just a product of imagination. How will i know, im not a fan of animals. It was not everyday that i encounter horses or story about horses. I just thought it was one of those rare breeds that we have these days. Haha ignorant of me! 🙂
Anyway, Sean Kendrick and Kate “puck” Connolly are great characters. They are both strong but in many different ways. They both possess this dream of achieving their goals, and not losing hope even when matters got out of hand. Though Sean was living alone, the love for Corr and the concern for other animals that he was training was an indication of how his personality as a devoted trainer. Puck, on the other hand, was the ever faithful and family -oriented person. She will weather any storm just to provide and take care of her family. Eventhough she was hurting just the same. Eventhough, everyone thinks she was not supposed to be there.
Though they are rivals in the race, their connection and possible love affair was an added icing on the cake. Simple and not overly cheesy written, their romance is one that can be felt only by the heart who experienced a more intimate connection not just a physical one. It goes beyond the attraction, it’s the mind and heart working together.
The one thing I kinda feel sad about this ocean town of Thisby was why do people tolerate this kind of man-eating horses to even be celebrated for and made popular they even held festivals each year. That really shows gambling is one of the many temptations one man cannot escape even in this made up kind of world. Plus, the killings here were so normal that they even expect it to happen from day to day. I don’t wanna live in Thisby for that matter.
As simple as it was written, the ending of the story even predictable, I can consider the Scorpio races as one of those that will leave you good positive vibes after reading. Going for your dreams, and believing in yourself are the keys to achieving your goals in life. No matter if its for you or the people around you.
I am leaving with you some questions that Ms. Laila left for the challenge for Read Philippines’ members. You will definitely know the answers if you read and carefully took note of each and every words that this book contains. If not, it is time you start leafing through those pages. Happy reading everyone!
1) Fill in the blanks : This ____ cares nothing for ______ but it favors the ______
2) Fill in the blanks : _____ makes me feel like I have to be on my best behaviour. ______ is my natural habitat.
3) When do the Scorpio Races start?
4) What is one water horse called?
5) Which horse will never walk again because Mutt sliced its hamstrings?
6) Who was going to go to the mainland with Gabe after the races but was killed?
7) True or False. Puck rides a capall uisce but not in the races.
8) Who gives Puck a ride to Hastoway?
9) What is the name of the horse that was killed while Sean was exercising it?
10) What does Sean tell Puck to do when he first meets her on the beach?
11) Does Sean get Corr at the end and why?
12) Who wins the Scorpio Race?