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.
This book was a book club read for this month, and unlike the first seven books this year (all in the Harry Potter series), this one I hadn’t read before. I have read another series by this author, though, which I liked, so I was looking forward to this one. It took a few chapters for me to get into, but once I was “there”, it didn’t disappoint.
The water horses from this story come from old legends, but the author has created a version of these fairy horses that is all her own. It’s spectacularly written. The characters have so much depth, and at times while I was reading, my heart would just ache. I’d say that’s the sign of some effective writing. It is a love story, but not one just between man and woman, but between man and horse, and man and heritage/island (or woman, as the case may be). I loved the fact that this was a stand-alone book and that I don’t feel like I have to read two more novels before I see how the story ends!
Would I recommend this to my BFF? Yes!
Would I recommend this to my teen daughter? Yes. I would, however, hesitate with the younger tweens, or at lease go on a case-by-case recommendation on this one just because it is such an intense book with a lot of blood… and some children are more sensitive about that sort of thing than others. I would encourage my 13 year old to read it, but I don’t think my 10 year old would be emotionally ready yet.