4.5 Stars“I didn't know," I start truthfully, "that it was the hard way when I started on it.”I’ve have never given a recommendation to specifically read or listen to book but I think for this one I will. I have found that the writing style of Maggie Stiefvater, it is slower and eloquent, lends itself better to being spoken aloud than reading. I don’t think I would have liked this book nearly as much had I read it. I feel the same way about Raven Boys also by Maggie and anything written by Lani Taylor. The audio version of the book has two different voices to relay the alternating POV of Kate (Puck) and Sean. Both narrators did an exceptional job with the cadence of the story and delivery of emotion. One of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to. “My mother always said that I was born out of a bottle of vinegar instead of born from a womb and that she and my father bathed me in sugar for three days to wash it off. I try to behave, but I always go back to the vinegar.”This is not your typical YA book where there is always a lot of action happening and a faster pace. It takes some time for the story to get moving but I immediately liked the characters. Both are underdogs in their own way. Puck has lost both her parents and needs to win the purse for her family. Sean needs to win to be able to buy the waterhorse he loves and freedom for them both. Both have a set of obstacles to overcome and it could have worked out that they would end up enemies as competitors but remarkably they become friends.The race is fraught with danger, even the training is dangerous. The Capll uisce (waterhorses) are fierce and not to be trusted. There are some heart stopping events happening throughout the book but for the most part it is about the two people trying to get by with what they have been given and falling unexpectedly in love along the way. The romance however is very far from the front of the story. It is more about the Island, which is a character all of its own, as well as the sea and the Capall uisce. I was fascinated by the descriptions of this harsh Island world and the ferocious love that both Puck and Sean feel for somewhere that has taken so much from both of them. The actual race isn’t until the very end of the book and doesn’t take long. Much like an actually horse race a lot of banter before and then it is over in the blink of an eye. I really didn’t want it to end, I wanted to see if Holly came back in a year and his predictions were true. I wanted to stay with Puck and Sean and Finn even after the ending. The very ending was unexpected and beautiful, I teared up a little as I thought that it was a great example of love and sacrifice.