Summary: The island of Thisby is your typical island. Every year on that island, there is an event called the Scorpio Races. In the deadly Scorpio Races, people race using the mythical creature known as the capaill uisce, carnivorous water horses. Nineteen year old Sean Kendrick is the returning champion this year and he feels like he can pull off another victory. That is of course until Puck Connolly, who is doubtful of herself winning comes along. These two end up learning a lot about each other and even spark up a romance, but they know that the ultimate goal is to win.
Strengths: Because of the fantasy creature known as the capail uisce, this story falls under the genre of fantasy. Despite it being under the genre of fantasy, there are really no other fantasy elements that come into the story except for the water horses. Just like a lot of fantasy novels, there are “rules” which in this book consists of the annual Scorpio Races. The island is of course fictional, but what I believe makes this story are the characters. Yes, consistent and believable characters is a criteria for evaluating fantasy novels, but this is where the book truly stands out. The characters were so vivid and believable, it was as if I knew them personally. They were not stereotypes and each had their own agenda throughout the story.
Connections to Text: Both the main characters are still teenagers and yet have developed with different goals in mind. For example, Sean wants to win to prove himself and that he can be good owner to his water horse, Corr. Puck, however has a different mindset. She needs to win for her family. Both may have different ambitions, but it is interesting to see that despite their differences, they must both achieve the same goal of winning the race to achieve their goal.