Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: 18th October, 2011

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Pages: 401pgs

The Story

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.

The Review

As always Maggie Stiefvater delivers yet another book legend up onto the table. How does the saying go? Oh right - "She's the man!" Her writing is still beautifully prosed and now I'm left with envy searing into my aspiring author soul because of her talented gift. A gift readers know and love her for. To everyone who'd thought they knew how Stiefvater worked, comparing her other novels to this one (including my favourites Shiver, Lament and Ballad) well, they will get a reality check because in this new book of hers . . . she has clearly outdone herself and words cannot fathom how she writes a book such as this one!

THE SCORPIO RACES was the greatest thing I've read this year and probably it was Maggie Stiefvater's best work so far. Shockingly I loved it more than her bestselling Shiver series which is hard to beat. I mean, the island the book was set in became a living, breathing thing to me and I could literally feel the atmosphere and taste the salts that was carried through the winds. But most of all, I experienced what it felt like to be swept into the neverending magic of the capall uisce - the deadly horses of the Sea. The horses were like cannibals (hell-to-my-yeah) and despite the blood and the gore (which everyone needs a little bit of in their lives), it just was just AWESOME! Move over zombies we have water horses coming your way. So watch yourself! But personally, the book's strongest point was the characters themselves. And it was the main reason why I loved this damn book so, so much.

The novel is told through alternative perspectives between two main characters - Kate "Puck" Connolly and Sean Kendrick. Both of whom I love dearly. Despite the small island community, these two teenagers haven't met before and soon the races starts, which gives them the perfect opportunity to get to know one another a little better. Even when Sean is the guy of impossible conversation. As a romance blossoms and changes these two peoples' lives, I just admired the slow, subtle way it was developed without needing so many unnecessary makeout scenes to make a couple perfect. That's right - Maggie Stiefvater can make a horse riding scene be so, so sexy without a single kiss. This is why I love the author so much!

When it comes to the characters, I loved Puck! She was a little fiery one who took on the big boys of the Scorpio Races. Her dedication to her brothers and to her horse, Dove, only showed to the reader that girls can rock this world. Even with blood thirsty horses around. And when she entered the races - the first girl ever to do so - I loved the way she was supported by her brothers and by many others who were willing to stand up for her cause. Then of course, there's the lovely but mysterious Sean. Oh Sean . . . I wanted to kiss and hug him to take away all the loneliness he kept to himself. Nobody can pull off the tormented and lonely boy like Maggie Stiefvater can and bless her for it! Sean is almost like the Horse Whisperer and no one can connect to horses, not even to his winning mare Corr, like he does. He was one of the most interesting and sexy characters that I've read so far in young adult fiction and I just want more and more of him!

Overall, whether you're a fan of Maggie Stiefvater or have yet to read one of her books, then I highly recommend you devour this book immediately! Don't pass on a chance of a lifetime to read a book that hits you straight into your heart and pierces your soul. My only problem was that ending . . . not because it was a total awwwww moment but because it was the end of a standalone that I loved every moment of.

The Rating 5/5 stars


  1. When you say this year... do you mean 2012 or 2011? :P

    OK, I've had this sitting on my pile since the end of November, and I'm kicking myself. I'd been dying to read it ever since Maggie started talking about her super secret mystery project months and months and months ago, and I don't know why I haven't picked it up yet! Now I'm kind of dying to. Maggie is an exceptional author... everything she rights verges on poetry. Ugh. You've convinced me to prioritise it!

    Also: Oh my goodness... you're reading IQ84? Will you review? Can't wait for your thoughts!

  2. I loved Puck and Sean too. Such amazing characters. And you know what? I think I may prefer this to Shiver too (though it might be because I read this first). Great review! So glad you liked this one as much as I did :).

  3. Sooooooo true. She has OUTDONE herself with this! I think it's probably my favourite of all her books too - and I've LOVED every other novel she's written. But The Scorpio Races.... sigh. A whole other dimension of brilliance. I adored Puck and Sean aswell <3 And awww gosh. That ending, it so made me teary! *sniff sniff*

    Fantabulous review, Erin!

  4. YES! So happy you loved this. Fantastic review that ticked all the points! <3

  5. Sarah: Whoops. Meant 2011. Wrote this review back in October-ish. hehe. Anyway, be sure to check it out soon. Wouldn't want to miss it. Also, yes I'll be reviewing IQ84. That is . . . once I get through it. It's a long, long book. Has three books in one.

    Brodie: The ending was teary! Such an amazing piece of work!

    Lisa: Thanks! x

    1. Sorry, I was being a smartass--I didn't mean to be stupid, but I was also curious... I'm sure you've already read quite a bit this year :D

      THREE BOOKS IN ONE? That is a LOT. I've started getting really intimidated by LONG books... I freak out about the other three books I could've read in that time, and then get sad :D

      Um... so... THREADED COMMENTS!
      Is this exciting or WHAT?!

  6. I loved this one too. It's definitely Maggie's best book yet. Shiver is great but this one is more grown up. I think Sean is one of the best YA characters I've ever read. A great book.

  7. Most of its praise has been on the characterisation and the atmospheric prose. Cannot wait to read my own copy! Puck sounds like an awesome heroine and I cannot wait to read more and more about both her and Sean, as well as the capall uisce and the Scorpio Races.

  8. I'm glad that you liked TSR more then the Shiver series. This book was amazing. Maggie has such a way with words. I really enjoyed Sean's character. I thought he was very interesting. Great review!


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