The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: 6th October 2011
Every year, the Scorpio Races are run on the beaches of Skarmouth. Every year, the sea washes blood from the sand. To race the savage water horses can mean death, but the danger is irresistible.
When Puck enters the races to save her family, she is drawn to the mysterious Sean, the only person on the island capable of taming the beasts.
Even if they stay together, can they stay alive?
A breathtaking ride that will make your heart race.
The thought of a new Maggie Stiefvater book makes me simultaneously want to do a happy dance because of her stunning writing and put my heart in a lead box so she can't make me cry. I felt the same with The Scorpio Races.
As with each of Maggie’s beautiful novels, The Scorpio Races is incredibly atmospheric. The island of Thisby is imbued with a real sense of foreboding and magic that kept what is actually a very character-based and slow-moving plot moving without it feeling slow and keeping up the tension. The subtle mythology of the water horses, or cappall uisce, only added to the mood. There was no explanation of them; they were just a part of the island and were taken as the dangerous and mysterious creatures they are.
One of the things that surprised me most about The Scorpio Races was how involved I became with the connection that Puck had with Dover and Sean had with Corr. I am not a horse person at all, in fact, I don’t like them at all really, but I became extremely invested in their relationships. It really emphasised, for me, just how horrifically the islanders treat the cappall uisce: yanked out of their home (the sea), captured, trained, and then raced in a way that could lead to their death and that of their riders. Once I started to think about it, I really started to feel for them and because of some of the less than savoury characters in Puck and Sean’s lives, I was on the side of the deadly water horses.
But there was one thing in particular about The Scorpio Races that I loved more than anything else: the relationship between Puck and Sean. It was slow and soft and real. Their relationship began with fascination, moved to tentative friendship, then trust and finally, after around 400 pages, a kiss. This pace and subtlety is virtually unheard of in YA and I adored it – the tension, the questions and the promise of something to come was the only way that these Puck and Sean would be able to handle something so new to them. If Maggie Stiefvater had handled their romance in any other way then it would have stuck out like a sore thumb.
I adored The Scorpio Races and, as ever, I’m eagerly awaiting my next opportunity to become lost in Maggie’s enchanting prose.
A huge thank you to Scholastic for providing me with a review copy.