November 22, 2012
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Review Source: ARC received at Ontario Blog Squad Meet-Up 2011
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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.
(First a note: I wrote this review after I read the book about a year ago, but I somehow never got around to posting it. In the meantime, I've read and loved The Raven Boys, but I decided to keep my review as it was written last year.)
I was a bit hesitant going into 'The Scorpio Races' because I’m one of the only people on earth who didn’t enjoy 'Shiver'. I’m also not a big fan of horses, so that’s sort of two strikes against this book. Thankfully I was intrigued from the moment I started reading it. I had a bit of a hard time because of the slower pace, but I was still interested, and it made me persevere. I’m glad I did, because in the end I was totally impressed. I adore the world that Maggie Stiefvater created for this book. It’s absolutely magical, and I can’t stop thinking about it.
The best thing about this book, though? The characters, absolutely. Kate “Puck” Connelly is just so endearing. She’s tough as nails and there’s nothing she loves more than her brothers and the island of Thisby, except perhaps her horse, Dove. And then there’s the strong, silent Sean Kendrick. He works magic with horses, and has a connection with Corr, one of the fierce capaill uisce (water horses). These two! I don’t even know. I loved reading from both their perspectives, and I fell in love with both of them. I love them separately, I loved their interactions together, and I adored how much they loved their horses. Remember how I said I wasn’t a horse person? Well, I’m not, but I am a big animal lover in general. There’s no denying the love these two characters felt for their horses, and it was beautiful to read about.
As mentioned, the pace of the book is slower in most parts. The actual Scorpio Races don’t take place until the end of the book, and while there are definite moments of excitement throughout the book, it also has a quieter feel to it. Maggie’s writing is so atmospheric that you experience every bit of the setting alongside the main characters. And what a setting it is. Thisby is this mysterious island where man eating capaill uisce wash ashore, and where each November men vie to be race champion on these creatures.
It’s not too often a book can make me tear up, but this one definitely did. I felt such a strong emotional tie with the characters that I was sad to see the book end, though I thought the ending was absolutely perfect. This is a book you really sink into and become part of, which is a wonderful experience. I’m so glad that I read 'The Scorpio Races', and I’ll definitely give Maggie Stiefvater’s future books a chance now that I’ve enjoyed this one so much.
Really like it.
Find The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater on Goodreads, Book Depository, Amazon.