Thursday, 1 November 2018

The Scorpio Races re-read

Publication Date: 22nd October 2011
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 482 pages
Every year, the Scorpio Races are run on the beaches of Skarmouth. Every year, the sea washes blood from the sand. To race the savage water horses can mean death, but the danger is irresistible.
When Puck enters the races to save her family, she is drawn to the mysterious Sean, the only person on the island capable of taming the beasts.
"It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die."

This remains one of the best opening lines I have ever read, and it cements the book as something magical and incredible, that will beckon you closer and keep you curled around the island and the story until the final pages send you back, dizzy and bereft, into the real world.

Whenever I am only allowed to pick one book - one book that changed me, that means the world to me, that is beautiful and incredible and magical and everything I never knew I needed - this is the book I pick.
I return to it every autumn in its physical form. I return to it much more often than that in its audiobook form. And every time I fall a little more in love.

This is a story that is hard to pin down, to adequately explain whenever anyone asks you to describe it. At its most basic it's a story about a horse race with deadly water horses that takes place every November. But it's so much more than that, so many layers of character, of wants and needs and desires, of loneliness and companionship, of an island and its traditions and lore that takes on a shape of its own, and becomes a character in its own right. It is a story of love in so many different forms.

It is so incredibly written, a haunting story filled with sly moments of humour and passages that are so beautiful they make you ache. I adore this island and the characters, and I cannot ever adequately convey what this book means to me.
It is everything.

If you're put off by the cover, by the assumption that this is a girly book, or a book about horses, get rid of those thoughts immediately because this book is so much more, and you should put away your misconceptions and pick it up.
It marks the turning point in Maggie's writing, and if you enjoy this then I highly recommend finding a copy of "The Raven Boys" to read next - the start of a truly gorgeous series. But nothing will ever compare to the feeling of coming home that I feel every autumn as I return to Thisby.

"I am so, so alive."

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