Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: 2011 by Scholastic Press
Some race to win. Others race to survive.
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.
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 choice. So she enters the competition – the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”
Oh my. This book was in my possession for SO long. I was very hesitant to read it for some reason I can’t remember. Now that I finally have, I’m ready to read more by Maggie Stiefvater.
The Scorpio Races is a novel of dual narrations and a unique mythology. Think killer mermaids, but as horses. Water horses swim underwater and come to shore around October every year. People try to catch these human-hating horses so they can ride one for the Scorpio Races on November 1st. For this island, the races are their only tourism pull. It’s a huge deal, which is a bit morbid because quite a few people die every year. So we have our two characters: Puck Connolly (real name is Kate) and Sean Kendrick. They both desperately need to win for specific reasons, and yet they find themselves working together.
After reading the synopsis, I assumed this was a Hidalgo-like race. One that would take a few weeks to complete. I WAS COMPLETELY WRONG. It takes until page 380 out of 409 pages to start the race. However, this does not mean the book is boring. No way. The racers are required to spend two weeks training on the beach. And trust me, it gets exciting.
Also along the way to the race, the reader gets to see the different motives that drive Puck and Sean to race. We see Puck’s family life (I want Finn to be my brother) and Sean’s love for “his” horse, Corr. And because they both are so perfect for each other, Sean and Puck begin to fall in love. Their romance in NO way dominates the storyline. The plot continues to revolve around the coming race. However, their connection gives them a different opinion on their desired outcomes.
I was concerned about the ending, but Maggie worked it out smoothly in a way I wasn’t even considering as an option. It’s refreshing to be unsure of a book’s ending. The writing style was fine, nothing much to complain about except that the action scenes were sometimes very confusingly written. I found myself having no idea of what just happened.
Hopefully there won’t be a sequel because it really doesn’t need one.
Definitely read this. I highly enjoyed it and found it entirely compelling.
Content Warning: Occasional language and kissing.