I’ve been reading a lot of Maggie Stiefvater’s books lately having rediscovered the awesomeness of public libraries and, as much as I’ve loved her Raven Cycle series and Shiver trilogy, I really enjoyed reading such a strong, stand alone novel.
Maggie is a queen of the urban fantasy, taking something magical and inserting it in to the real world. Set on the island of Thisby, the community described feels truly authentic with the gossip and rivalries found in such places. Yet every November both locals and tourists alike risk their lives to ride the water horses, wild creatures born from the sea. Kate “Puck” Connolly is determined to race in an attempt to keep her brother from leaving the island but, instead of riding one of the predator-like water horses, she chooses to ride her horse Dove. Sean Kendrick is four time winner of the Scorpio races, riding Corr, the same water horse his father raced and died on, yet this race the stakes are higher than ever before. The two eventually meet, however, unlike other YA supernatural romances, Puck’s love for Dove and the island, and Sean’s love for Corr are what drive this narrative.
Maggie has a lovely light touch when it comes to the magical. Sean’s abilities with the water horses involves a mix of superstition, old wives’ tales and magic, yet in the world Maggie has created, it feels completely normal. Now, off to the library for her next book!