I liked this book. It was different. I think it was based on an Irish myth.
The novel is about a dangerous horse race. But the horses meant for this race are capaill uisce horses, water horses. They are unpredictable, wild horses that come from the sea. The sea makes them dangerous because the horses are always being called to it. And if there is a rider on their back they could bring that person to their watery grave if they aren’t controlled right. Oh and these capaill uisces eat meat and blood. It’s an added phenomenon that makes them very difficult to ride. The race itself is simple; Go from one side of the beach to the other before all the others. Only you’re racing on horses that you only train for three weeks that want your blood or are being called toward the sea.
|"Before the Races" by Tronnie on DeviantArt|
Kate Connely, aka Puck, rides her regular chestnut-colored island horse, Dove, in a race made for water horses. She causes strife by entering in a race meant for only men and water horses. It is an unspoken rule so there isn’t too much they can do to stop her but intimidate her into quitting. Puck has courage and a purpose. She is racing for her two brothers and money to keep their house. Her parents died in the sea one October long ago when the capaill uisces were rising. It’s a dangerous time to be out on the sea in a boat. But the Connely parents didn’t believe in the magic of capaill uisce horses. It was just a fanciful story to them.
The novel follows Sean and Puck as they enter in the race and the training of their horses. They end up training together on the cliffs by the sea. It’s too dangerous for Puck and Dove to train on the beach with everyone else. And Sean and Corr never train down there. And of course since they are spending so much time together there is an attraction between our two protagonists. The very end of the book is the race and the aftermath of the effects.
This story is an interesting idea. Having a race with dangerous water horses and two lovers caught in the middle of it all. It is slow in the beginning of the book and can be confusing because the book is written from both Sean's and Puck's perspective. At times their "voices" are also very similar.
Overall, I liked the book. But it was slow until about halfway through. That was annoying. I do recommend this book though. I enjoyed the idea a lot.