Thursday, May 3, 2012

National Velvet, Misty of Chincoteague, and the Island Stallion were all staples of my childhood.  At one time or another they were each my favorite.  Bagnold was able to create the best countryside.  I wanted to ride through the moors and farmland.  Misty was real to me when we visited Assateague and saw the ponies swim across the channel.  And the island stallion was just a little bit exotic, so it captured my imagination and allowed the world I lived in to be just a little bit larger and a little bit more mysterious.  

There are of course dozens of stories about boys or girls and horses.  The number ranks right up there with the number of books on dogs dying to save an endangered child.  And though there are dozens of them, the ones we remember all seem to carve a new niche.  That is exactly what Stiefvater does with The Scorpio Races.  

Horses from the sea? I've been writing about Windhorses, so I felt like Stiefvater and I were on the same page.  I was seeing horses in the clouds and hearing them in the wind.  She found those same sights and sounds in the crashing waves.  The fluid, ungraspable nature of water caused my imagination to create many different forms for the horses and Stiefvater's description made them just different enough to make the creatures slightly more magical than the quadrupeds that inspired them.

     The story is still the same.  Winning the race on the back of the underdog horse, but it is told with its own style, so we still get to that place that only horses can take us.

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