I debated for a long time about whether or not to read the book or listen to the audiobook. There are some books that are better read than listened to and some that are better listened to than read. Well, after listening to an audiobook sample of The Scorpio Races, I immediately put it on my ‘to listen’ list. I think the performances in the audiobook are worth listening to and really make the book come to life.
The Scorpio Races is set in Thisby, a fictional island of the coast of Britain. This island is no ordinary island. Every November water horses, also known as Capaill Uisge, come on shore. These horses are more monsters than actual horses. They are violent horse like creatures that love the sea and blood. Every November Thisby hosts the Scorpio Races, where riders race Capaill Uisge. The story is alternates perspectives between two characters, Puck and Sean.
When I first heard the story was about man-eating horses I didn’t quite no what to think. I love Maggie Stiefvater but do I really love her that much. Well, I’m so glad I took a chance on this book because it was beautifully written. It has to Maggie’s best work so far. If you read, or listen, to epilogue you will learn that the Capaill Uisge are actually based off of an ancient myth about water horses. I don’t know about you but this is the first time I’ve every hear of this myth. There are several versions of the myth and Maggie took the bloodthirsty water horse one. I commend Maggie for her bravery in writing this book as it’s probably a difficult pitch to make. I’m grateful the publishers took a chance on this one because it’s so good.
What made this book so good was the originality, the characters, the narration, the writing, the setting, and right down to the frightening horses. I loved it all. Puck and Sean have unique plights and you feel for both of them equally. Puck is trying to save her family’s home and to do so she’s running in the Scorpio Races to win the big money prize. Sean is the horse trainer for the richest man on the island. Among one of those horses is the Capaill Uisge, Corr, a horse he’s known since childhood and shares a strong bond with. Only the horse doesn’t belong to him it belongs someone else. Sean rides in the races every year with Corr and has won them 4 years in row.
There is a slight romance in the book but The Scorpio Races is not solely about a love story. I don’t mind that the romance plays such a small role because the book doesn’t need it. When it finally happens it’s more sweet that angsty and that is such a relief from the norm.
The narrators were phenomenal and their British accents made you feel like you were in Thisby with the characters. Sean’s character did sound a lot like Clive Owen, which was cool but sometimes it made me picture him as Sean. I got passed it though and I didn’t for a second regret listening to the book instead of reading it.
Clearly, I recommend this book since I loved it so much. If you are in the mood for something completely different, The Scorpio Races is the book for you. I think older teenagers and adults would love this book. It’s a beautiful book, so don’t hesitate to read it.
I had my doubts about whether or not I would like this book, but shortly into it I was hooked. It was so good I found myself wondering, how has this book not received more attention?! Why didn’t I read this book sooner? With awe inspiring dragons, formidable characters, a vivid setting, and a skillfully crafted story, this epic first book in a duology is now one my favorite books of all time. Alison Goodman made me a fan for life.
Strongly influenced by ancient Asian cultures, Eon is set in a detail rich world ruled by an imperial family but balanced by the powerful Dragoneyes. Through a bargain with the twelve energy dragons, the Dragoneyes connect with their spirit dragon to wield power, control the elements, and much more.
In training to become an apprentice to the Rat Dragon, Eon has the odds stacked against him. His broken hip makes him walk with a limp making it difficult for him to walk let alone practice the dragon art of fighting. To top it off, Eon is really Eona, a girl and therefore forbidden to practice the dragon art. An act punishable by death. The one thing working in her favor is her dragon sight, the rare ability to see all the energy dragons. She can only hope that the Rat Dragon chooses her as his apprentice.
Eon/a is a complex heroine. She is strong and intelligent yet flawed by her inclination to be dishonest and her lack of trust in others. She weaves a dangerous web of lies in her fight for survival and, at times, this is very frustrating. There are many moments where I wanted to yell at her to snap her out of it. While at the same time, you understand her situation and her reasoning. That being said, in the end, Eona became one my favorite heroines.
Eon is technically considered a young adult book but, to me, the story reaches beyond young adults to older audiences as well. Goodman’s world is exceptional and you will find yourself captivated by the rich culture and unique mythology. I enjoyed this book so much that once finished it, I immediately (the same day) bought the next book, Eona: The Last Dragoneye.
“That’s a strange title,” were my first thoughts when I came across Keturah and Lord Death. Despite the title, I felt myself being drawn to read this unique book by some unseen force. The beautiful cover was different and the description was unlike any other book I’ve ever read. So of course, I had to listen to it.
Keturah is the town’s story teller. One day, she follows the prized hart into the woods hoping to collect more details for her stories. The hart eludes her as she follows him deeper and deeper into the forest, until she eventually realizes she is lost. After being lost in the forest for three days, Lord Death comes to her in the form of a man. He asked her to be his bride and Keturah refuses. To escape death temporarily, Keturah tells Lord Death a story but does not tell him the ending. She promises to tell him the ending if he gives her another day to live. In this day, she must find her true love in order to be free.
Keturah and Lord Death is a stunningly rich tale with the feel of a classic fairy tale. Set in a small town in Europe during the Middle Ages, the characters speak with an Old English tone yet the writing is still very modern. In addition, it is a well written and crafted story.
Keturah is the soul of this book and she is truly an inspiring character. She is humble, honest, sincere, courageous, unselfish, romantic, independent and I could go on. While delaying death, Keturah’s journey transforms from a journey to find her true love into one where she helps her friends find their true love and saves her village from the plague. In a satisfyingly sweet end, she realizes who her true love is and has been all along.
I recommend Keturah and Lord Death to anyone who loves a classic tale while in the mood for something different.
Thank you Lisa for gifting this book to me! The story takes place in an extraordinarily imaginative world. A wonderful book for all kids and kids at heart!