Review: THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater

TITLE: The Scorpio Races
AUTHOR: Maggie Stiefvater
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
FANTASY ELEMENT: Mythological Water Horses
PUBLISHED: Scholastic Press (October 18, 2011)
FIND ON: Amazon


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.


There is just something amazing about The Scorpio Races. The tone set in this book does not allow you to be in any other mood other than the one blowing around the island of Thisby. The descriptions of the story world are magical. There is not much of hint to where this island is located, but I was guessing Ireland because of the Gaelic words and sometimes the characters’ verbiage.
The overall story is slowly paced for such a thrilling ride into the Scorpio races on the backs of carnivorous horses. It is kind of a dichotomy that the race and the training beforehand is so dangerous and yet the pace of the story goes slow and steady. It is a ride of a different g-force. It’s like a Stief-force! This dichotomy shows up in the story with the difference between the capall uice and the mare that Puck rides. It is absolutely delightful.
I wasn’t sure at first what was really going to happen because of the severely vague synopsis. I wasn’t sure if there was a romance until it was right in my face. It was worth giving in to curiosity. My only worry is that because it lacks in the “paranormal romance” cliché situations, that it will be underrated by teens everywhere.
The characters are all very real and I feel like I know them like Puck said at one point, everybody is familiar on this island. I’m sure that is why Stiefvater invested time into small characters, to continue the feel of the place.


I have to rate this at a complete 5: Excellent and well worth the time to read. It wasn’t heart smashingly romantic but its subtle tenderness was breathtaking. The story of these two acquaintances brings them together in such an enchanting, depressing, yet a very “Thisby” kind of way. I loved it.


I would let my preteen read this. I’m not sure if she would understand or appreciate it, but it’s clean: no nudity, minimal bad language and the violence is present yet not gory. The story is intense and worth the ride. If you’re a horse lover, this book speaks your language.

Other Books by Maggie Stiefvater:

Books of Faerie:

The Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver Series):

The Scorpio Races