- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
Stiefvater drastically departs from Shiver, her recent popular werewolf romance trilogy, with The Scorpio Races, a unique stand-alone fantasy novel. Every cold November on the fictional island of Thisby, tourists and locals gather for the Scorpio Races. But it's no ordinary race, as these are no ordinary horses. They are capaill uisce (pronounced CAP-ul ISH-ka), commonly known on the island as water horses, and they are deadly and wild horse-like creatures captured from the sea and brought to race on the shore as spectator sport. During training and racing, it's not uncommon for them to kill each other, their riders, or any other unfortunate soul that gets in their way.
19-year-old orphan Sean Kendrick is a gifted rider and horse whisperer, and he's able to tame the water horses in a way like no other. He's a four-time winner of the Scorpio Races, and he intends to win again so he can finally buy freedom for himself and his water horse Corr from the callous Mr. Malvern's stables. However, 17-year-old Kate "Puck" Connelly is getting in the way. Puck, also an orphan thanks to the capaill uisce , lives with her two brothers in a small cottage, struggling to get by. In an effort to save the house, she hatches a seemingly-impossible plan to enter and somehow win the Scorpio Races with her land horse, Dove. Throw in the fact that she's the first female to ever enter the race, and watch the drama unfold. The chapters alternate between Sean and Puck as they prepare for the race with seemingly endless obstacles in front of them. Who will win? Who will live?
The Scorpio Races was named as a 2012 Printz honor book, and it's a unique tale. Thisby is rural, lacking modern technological conveniences, and reminiscent of a mid-20th century drizzly Celtic isle, but the exact era and location are never revealed, which is why some speculate that this is perhaps a dystopian tale that takes place in the future. The mythical water horses obviously add an element of fantasy, and there is a bit of romance thrown in for good measure.