Reviews for Scorpio Races

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #2
The famed Scorpio Races are held each November on the tiny (fictional) island of Thisby, and they feature man-eating fairy water horses. For the first time, a girl has signed on to race, and she catches the attention of four-time winner Sean Kendrick. Chapters trade off between Kate "Puck" Connolly and Sean, with West and Hardingham reading their respective first-person narratives. West employs a measured voice for the reserved Sean; Hardingham does a good job of conveying Puck's fiery and introspective character. The narrators' British accents do what the author merely hints at -- set the island firmly somewhere in the realm of the United Kingdom and provide pronunciations of Celtic words that might trip readers up. However, the audio is not without issues. Though Hardingham sounds a bit too old, she generally carries off Puck's youthful aplomb; West's voice has a coating of culture too slick for Sean's island ways. Also, on occasion West's voice is more sibilant and much louder than Hardingham's. Quibbles aside, the audio is a good choice for those who prefer to listen, and may keep a reluctant reader along for the whole ride. angela j. reynolds Copyright 2012 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 May

Gr 7 Up--On the island of Thisby, October is a time of mounting tension, as the great water horses descend from the sea. Fierce, fast, and dangerous, they are used in the yearly Scorpio Races. Riders must combine skill with luck as they fight to keep hold of their horse and avoid becoming one of the race's causalities in Maggie Stiefvater's action-packed, romantic fantasy (Scholastic, 2011). Sean Kendrick, a loner and sought-after horse trainer, has won the numerous times and plans on doing it again this year. However, things change when Puck Connolly decides to enter in the hope of winning enough money to save her home and keep her family together. Puck will not only be the first female to ride in the races, but also plans on riding a land horse. With odds 45 to 1, she faces the ridicule of the entire island and those that care about her fear her death. While first thrown together by circumstance, Sean and Puck soon realize that they share a bond with the island and seeing the other succeed becomes as important as winning the race for themselves. With English accents, narrators Steve West and Fiona Hardingham alternate the voices of Puck and Sean, adding an authentic rhythm to the text. Pacing and delivery is strong and pulls listeners into a world of strong imagery and fierce emotion. This will be in heavy demand in middle and high school libraries.--Rebecca Flannery, Lyman Memorial High School, Lebanon, CT

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