Extremely well-written and organized, this fantasy tell the story of almost magical horses that are meat-eaters and live in the sea. These beautiful, dangerous animals come on land during the late fall of the year. The location of this story is a fictional island called Thisby which I imagined to be off the coast of Scotland or Ireland.
Two main characters propel this story forward: Puck (Kate) Connolly and Sean Kendrick. Sean is 19 and a genius with horses, particularly the capaill uisce, the water horses.Some have been captured and are traditionally raced along the shore in the annual Scorpio Races held on Nov. 1. Sean has won for the past four years on a fiery red capaill named Corr. This year he races to win the right to buy Corr from owner Benjamin Malvern. He also runs to protect Puck who has entered the race as the first female ever to compete. Braving convention, her parents dead, she needs the money to save their small farm. Puck does not have one of the faster capaill uisce, but she has her beloved mare Dove who runs fast, straight, and true.
This exciting story is strengthened by the antagonist character of Mutt Malvern, the son of the most powerful man on Thisby, Benjamin Malvern. Benjamin is Sean's boss. Sean's ability with Mutt's father's horses earns him the esteem of everyone on the island and Mutt's irrational hatred.
What I admire about this story is the high degree of tension that the author maintains and her ably written descriptions. The minor characters are well-drawn, too, especially Finn, Puck's younger brother. Other characters enriching this story are islanders Peg Gratton and Dory Maud and especiallty George Holly, an American tourist there for the festival and races. Richly woven and totally engrossing, The Scorpio Races is a YA masterpiece.
Author of Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction
Published by Guardian Angel Publishing December 2014:
Jeremiah Lucky and the Guardian Angel
Jeremiah needs a little help and he gets it with the sudden appearance of his guardian angel. Chapter book for ages 7-10.
Jeremiah Lucky Finds Puppy Love
Jeremiah dodges a kiss from a princess and falls head over heels for a lost puppy. Chapter book for ages 7-10.
Watch for these titles coming soon:
The Whispering Chimney
Eleven-year old Bethany finds a stone chimney and discovers a beautiful but terrifying past. (upper middle grade)
(Beyond the) Stone Eagle Gate
David, age fifteen, flees a false accusation and takes refuge in a haunted, abandoned mansion. (YA, historical fiction ghost story)
The Interplanetary Adventures of Yan Sunnara: Book I Rescue on Lato
Cultural scientist Yan Sunnara rescues an unusual child on the planet of Lato with the help of an exotic and beautiful Uvian archaeologist. (Adult, soft Science Fiction, Rescue on Lato is the first of a series of four novellas.)
Three teens are connected by a mysterious and sometimes frightening ability to cross over from one dimension here on earth to another. This YA novel placed in the top three in Florida Writers 2013 RPLA competition. Speculative Fiction.
Some Great MG and YA books
- Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
- These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
- Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
- Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
- Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
- Red Blood Road by Moira Young
- On Little Wings by Regina Sirois
- Nation by Terry Pratchett
- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
- Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (Printz 2012)
- The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
- Fire by Kristin Cashore