‘The Scorpio Race’ gallops off the page

'The Scorpio Race' gallops off the page

Jessica Boyajian, Staff

Rick Riordan isn’t the only author who can write engaging stories about mythology. Maggie Stefvater’s novel “The Scorpio Races” touches on the European myth of the water horses.

According to the myth of the water horses, every November, flesh-eating horses would wander in from the sea and attack coastline villages. In the novel, the Island of Thisby celebrates the water horses through annual race called The Scorpio Raceon the beach. This race designed so the men can demonstrate their strength, riding the dangerous creatures close to their main element, risking their lives for the thrill. The Scorpio Races bring much-needed tourism to this little island.

The novel’s main characters are Sean Kendrick and Kate “Puck” Connolly. Riding the same horse named Cor each year, Sean is a four-time champion whose father died in the races. While Puck is a local farm girl who is trying to keep her family together after their parents died years ago at the hands of a wild water horse.

When Puck is told that the family house will be taken away, she is forced to sign herself into the races, becoming the first female racer, while also refusing to ride a water horse in the races, opting for her island horse, Dove.

“The Scorpio Races” is a novel of bravery, family and grit. As Sean and Puck’s friendship grows, the reader watches the two different lifestyles intertwine.

One of the most engaging parts of the book is the alternating first-person point-of-view between Puck and Sean. The technique allows the reader to understand each of the main characters before they understand each other.

The protagonists are also characterized by the connection each character has to the other’s horse. Sean stops calling Dove “a pony” and starts to respect her as a true competitor, while Puck forms a bond with Cor, becoming one of the only people who can ride him without protection.

For fans of Percy Jackson or any of Rick Riordan’s myth adaptations, this book is a must-read. Puck’s character will also appeal to readers “The Enchanted Forest Collection,” a feminist series about breaking out of social constraints.

Maggie Stefvater’s “The Scorpio Race” is a masterful piece of writing touching on feminism, determination and emotional connection.