The Scorpio Races

A 2012 Printz Honor Book

Written by Maggie Stiefvater

Every November locals and tourists gather on the shores off the island of Thisby for the deadly Scopio Races. The capaill uisce, also known as Water Horses, “came in with the tide.” They were “beautiful, savage, giants… that plunged down the sand, skirmishing and bucking, shaking the sea foam out of their manes and the Atlantic from their hooves. They were swift and deadly, savage and beautiful.” The local men on the island would capture and try to hang onto the capaill uisce long enough to compete in the annual horse race. This wasn’t just any race. Not only were the horses wild and beautiful, they lived on flesh and blood, which puts everyone around them at risk.

The novel is narrated from alternating points of view – Kate Connolly, “Puck,” and Sean Kendrick.

Puck is the most unexpected contestant in the race because she is the first girl to enter the race and she will be riding her own pony instead of a water horse. She is definitely in danger and is not prepared for this challenge. Sean, on the other hand, is the contestant most likely to win. He is one of the few islanders that can tame and handle water horses. He has won in the past and everyone’s money is on him. Yes, there is some romance.

I found myself wanting them both to win. Puck needs to win to save her home and Sean needs to win to become free and to buy freedom for his horse. I grew up with horses and could understand the close attachment and love that Sean had for his horse and the loyalty that his horse had for him. This book might not be for everyone but it sucked me in and I couldn’t put it down until the end. It made me laugh and cry. I thought it was beautifully written and is on my list of favorites for 2012.

Review by Cindy Moyle, Granite District Media Supervisor
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 8 and Up
Listen to a sample of the audiobook
Read an excerpt of this book

The Scorpio Races
Written by Maggie Stiefvater
409 pages
Release Date: October 18, 2011
ISBN: 9780545224901 (hardcover)

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1 thought on “The Scorpio Races”

  1. I just finished listening to The Scorpio Races and I really enjoyed it. I think Ms. Stiefvater gets a little wordy but the detail she gives to her characters, the supporting cast and the world they inhabit is well worth the extra time to get to know them. She is fast becoming my favorite author – although I wasn’t as impressed with her Shiver series. In fact I didn’t get past the first book. I loved Raven Boys and thought I would give Scorpio Races a try. I am glad that I did. She had me believing in water horses and I, too, was hoping both Puck and Sean could win. Puck is a gutsy young woman who will do what it takes to protect her home. I am a big fan of strong female characters. Sean is such a kind and gentle soul, the ending was tough to listen to. The romance was so tender I wonder why other writers don’t take note. We don’t need sex and lewdness to understand the love that is growing between these two strong characters. This is a very enjoyable book.

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