Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

11210739Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: 22nd October 2011 (Scholastic)
Pages: 482
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Paperback

Links to buy: |Waterstones| |Amazon UK|  |Book Depository|

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.


Puck said she’d never enter the Scorpio Races, but then when her brother says he is leaving, she had to find a way to make him stay. She enters the race, with no experience and on her horse, which is not what is normally ridden on during a race like this one. The race is there to test bravery. Entering the race is a death sentence and it is near impossible to reach the end, not with the ocean calling after the water horses that the riders choose to mount. No one can trust them. Sean knows everything about the races. He’s the leading champion, having won four races, but has his eyes on something more. He wants freedom. He wants to be able to race in the Scorpio Races for himself rather than under someone else. But Puck being the first female to race causes a lot of disapproval and Sean suspects that this year the race will be more unsettling than any of the others.

I breezed through this book. I love Stiefvaters’ writing, having read The Wolves of Mercy Falls series and Lament, as soon as I saw this book in the charity shop I knew I had to pick it up! This really didn’t disappoint. Something that Stiefvater does incredibly well is build a world with fantastical creatures woven in. It’s the balance of danger and yet interest that pulls the book through.

The book is told from the point of view from Puck and Sean but I found that Sean really stood out in the book much more than Puck. Her intentions were out very quickly whereas Sean had much more within. Puck acted a lot more on impulse, whereas Sean plans much of his actions to better his life in the future. His goals and consequences seemed to be at a greater stake compared to Pucks. I didn’t really sympathise with her that much.

I did find it surprising how little pages the race took up. It was only when I was about 3/4 of the way through did it click on how much of the race I would be reading. For me, it worked really well, the build up was a slow process (with a lot of action – I can assure you on that) and then the race zipped past. If the race covered any more pages, the pace wouldn’t represent the speed of the race. It reflected the speed and how quick you have to be when in a race, the thoughts almost spontaneously thrown out in panic but slowed down when realisation comes into play.

My only complaint is the ending. It was really beautifully done, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted some sort of epilogue. I also would of loved some sort of alternative ending, the non-winner out of the two being the winner in an alternative ending. The ending seemed too simple. I would of liked to see how the other character handled winning and what they would do, as well as seeing the reaction of the non-winner (winner in the book but would be the non-winner in the alternative ending one). -Sorry if that makes no sense! I’m trying to be spoiler free!! Hopefully, if you’ve read the book you’ll understand what I’m trying to get at…

My Rating:

I really liked it

4 cup


2 thoughts on “Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. A couple of people have recommended this to me and I almost picked it up the other day. (I didn’t because I’m trying to have a book buying ban – it is not working well)
    I received The Raven Boys for Christmas and I love it. I like your point about Stiefvater building a world with fantasy woven into it because that’s exactly how I feel about it. It feels so kind of normal that I almost think it could be real.

    • The series with The Raven Boys are the only books left that I need to read of Stiefvater now! Hopefully I saved the best til last but I ‘m worried because all her other books are so good too, but then again she has yet to disappoint me 😀

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