The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater {Amanda’s Review}

Posted 13 May, 2013 by Amanda / 17 Comments

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater {Amanda’s Review}The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted

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.

Intrigue lasts long after book closes.

My Thoughts on The Scorpio Races

Though The Scorpio Races was not my first introduction to Maggie Stiefvater, it is, perhaps, the first book of hers that I fully latched onto. Her stories are lyrical and deeply intriguing, forcing you slow down and savor rather than rushing through—even though you must know what happens.

I am fascinated by this world where the Scorpio Races happen and capall uisce are feared monsters. Nothing is a given—not for Puck and not for Sean. The two of them are driven to enter into the Scorpio Races, each for their own reasons and each desperately fighting for survival in a world set against them.

Thisby is not a place one can survive in. If you’re not lost to the bloodthirsty horses, you’re escaping to the mainland. Staying isn’t for the faint of heart; you must love the challenge of a world set against you as much as you love the island. But against all odds (literally, in Puck’s case), both Puck and Sean attempt to make a go at it, drawn to each other by their similarities.

The Scorpio Races leaves me oddly unsettled even now, after finishing. But it’s the kind of the unsettle that stays with you, bringing the story back in your memory again and again, enticing you with its lyrical quality and haunting world. I want more.

Amanda’s note: I wrote this review while on a plane to SF. A week later, as I work on formatting this post, everything that intrigued me about The Scorpio Races is coming back to the forefront. I want to stick my fingers back into this world.


Filed under: Review: Amanda,


17 Responses to “The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater {Amanda’s Review}”

  1. It’s definitely an unsettling book. Beautifully written, a fully-formed island world, awesome characters but…unsettling. That’s a great word for how I felt when I was done with it.

  2. Great review! Very compelling, especially as it keeps running through your mind even after you finished it. Thanks for sharing. In case I never mentioned it, I really like the way you identify the genre(s) at the beginning of the post. Thanks! Great work.

    Paul R. Hewlett

  3. YAY AMANDA! I’m so, so excited you loved this book! I’m a huge horse person-grew up with them, love them, miss them-so I felt extra connected to this one given Puck and Sean’s connections to their respective animals, and I just fell madly in love. Like you, I desperately wish this one had a sequel so I could back and spend more time with this world:)

    • I’ve not spent a lot of time around horses, but I do love animals, so anytime there’s a book that celebrates the connection between animal and human, I get excited. Now I want to get all whiny. Whhhhhhy isn’t there a sequel? Whhhhhy? ;)

  4. I’ve yet to read this one and Raven Boys. I think it takes a lot of skill to create such an unique world and to have its story still linger with its reader. It sounds as if the island is a character in of itself. Really looking forward to reading this one!

  5. I finished this a few weeks ago, and it’s definitely stuck with me for a long while, which doesn’t tend to happen. I though Stiefvater’s world-building was excellent, and I loved the final scene because AWESOME.

  6. Hmmm. I’ve not yet opened this book because I am just so unsure of it, but I think I will eventually get to it, now that you state it has stayed with you long after closing it. I like those type of books. :)

    • I was unsure of it, too, especially since I’ve been hit or miss with Maggie Stiefvater books. I was definitely drawn to this one, though, and I actually wish it was part of a series–I loved the world that much.

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