I thought I knew what to expect with Maggie’s writing as I sat down to read The Scorpio Races, but wow, she outdid herself with this one!
Those of us who love Maggie Stiefvater’s other books know that her writing will be lyrical, that it just flows beautifully, and that the stories will be touching. There will also be kissing, and most definitely someone will die. All those things are in The Scorpio Races, except this time she has also created an incredible setting.
Thisby is this small spec of an island, where mythical water horses, or capall uisce, rise from the ocean in the fall. These horses are deadly and huge and each year there’s a race where those brave enough to ride them can win some money. I loved the atmosphere of this small island. The people all know and take care of each other and aside from the scary water horses, I think I’d enjoy some time in Thisby in the fall. Also, it left me wondering what it would be like in the spring and summer. This place left such an impression on me, that now when I’m asked “What fictional land or place from a book would you like to live in or visit?”, I will not hesitate to answer “Thisby from The Scorpio Races.”
The story is told by Sean and Puck, whose actual name is Kate. They have never met before, which in such a small island is a big feat, but this year they’re both entering the races and their meeting was electric! Sparks!! Albeit, quiet sparks, but sparks nonetheless! :) Theirs was a romance that slowly bloomed into something beautiful and enduring. I loved watching them go from general interest, to respect, to friendship, and finally love.
I loved Puck. She is a little spitfire! I loved how important her brothers, their home, and her horse, Dove, were to her. And she proved she’d do anything for them by entering the races for a chance to win that money. Her relationship with her brothers really touched me. At first, I was really angry at Gabe for putting her and Finn in an even worse situation, but later, like Puck, I came around and understood why he needed to do what he planned. I absolutely ADORED Finn Connolly (the youngest brother)!! He was the source of light in this story. Whenever he was on the page, I was smiling. The people, especially the men, of the island do not make it easy on her once she enters. There’s never been a girl in the races before, especially one who’s not riding a water horse, and they try hard to intimidate her. Our girl is stronger than they realize, though. :)
Sean Kendrick. Oh, Sean Kendrick…I wanted to hug him and kiss his sad loneliness away!! Nobody does quiet, mysterious boys quite like Maggie. (See: Sam Roth or Luke Dillon) Sean has worked for the richest man on the island since he was 10 years old. He is a horse whisperer…literally!! No one can connect with horses as he does, and no one can train the capall uisce like him, either. One, in particular, Corr, his winning mare, is connected to him like none of the others. Corr is the reason Sean needs to win the races.
While I thought the fact Sean and Puck both need to win the races would interfere with their blooming romance, I was pleased it made them sort of a team. Them against everyone else.
There are so many scenes I want to highlight and mark as favorite quotes from this book!! I will be vague about these two I really loved…if you’ve read the book already, tell me if you agree, and if you haven’t yet, come back after you do:
The boy with the bread for dinner (no, not that boy with the bread…that’s a different book) and the scene on the cliffs, where words that are needed are spoken.
I think Maggie outdid herself with the beautiful imagery in this book. The island, the horses, the people, the festival and the food, the race, the ocean, the deaths, THAT ENDING!! It was all so incredibly vivid for me, visually and emotionally! I took my time reading The Scorpio Races just so I could savor it because with every word, I was transported to this place and I did not want to leave it.
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
Check out the incredible trailer, created by Maggie herself:
So, not only was Big Honcho Media kind enough to provide me with a copy for review, they are also giving away TWO copies away!!
GIVEAWAY IS OVER :(
About the book: From Maggie Stiefvater, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shiver series (over 1.7 million copies in print!), comes a brand-new, heart-stopping novel. With her trademark lyricism, Maggie Stiefvater turns to a new world where a pair are swept up in a daring, dangerous race across a cliff – with more than just their lives at stake should they lose.
4 starred reviews:
- “A taut, chilling, romantic adventure [that] comes to a pitch-perfect conclusion. Masterful. Like nothing else out there
now.” – Kirkus, starred review
- “A book with cross-appeal to lovers of fantasy, horse stories, romance, and action-adventure, this has a shot at being the next YA blockbuster.”- Booklist, starred review
- “As a study of courage and loyalty tested… it is an utterly compelling read.”- Publishers Weekly, starred review
- “Stiefvater sets not one foot wrong as she takes readers on an intoxicating ride of their own.”- Horn Book, starred review