What the whaaat? I’m updating? Seems impossible I know, but I couldn’t think of a better way to close out the month than to bring you a review of the Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I remember when I first read the Scorpio Races I was a little off-put by the writing style, but once I got into the groove of things I was able to soak in all the magic and beauty this story has to offer. After rereading it (again and again and again) I can’t really figure out what tripped me up, but I guess I’m telling you this for anyone who might feel the same way that I felt, and to encourage you to definitely carry on, because I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
I’ve been telling my friends (and anyone who will listen, really) to read this book for so long, and when I try to describe it I keep finding that the atmosphere of this book is so incredibly hard to pin down. The story takes place on the island of Thisby, and the residents are plagued by the presence of the eerie and dangerous capaill uisce, or water horses, that make their way to its shores. How is it possible for a dreary and seemingly sleepy island town to hold so much danger and still feel like magic? I don’t really know, but Maggie Stiefvater is good with things like that. The story follows Puck and Sean, who are both desperately working for something that they can call their own; Puck is fighting to keep her family’s property and hold the family together, while Sean is working to break out of his employer’s control and finally be able to own the horse he’s been competing with for years. And only way they can get what they need is to win the Scorpio Races.
The stakes are high with no guarantee of surviving the race, and capaill uisce are as dangerous as they are otherworldly, only adding to the magic of the story. I really liked the supernatural aspect that the capaill uisce brought, and honestly, how cool is it that there is an annual race with untamed demonic water horses (you know, aside from the bloodshed)? So of course the story is going to be action-packed and intense as we follow the characters interacting with these unpredictable creatures. And aside from the capaill uisce, the main selling point of this book for me was the characters.
The POV switches between two characters, and I loved both of them. Puck (otherwise known as Kate) is determined to participate in the race, not only for the money, but also to prove that she, the first female to ever participate in the Scorpio Races, has what it takes to win. She’s fiery and caring and doing her best to keep her family together. I really adored Sean; he’s stoic and hardworking and wants nothing more than to own his horse, and I admired his character so much. Neither of them have been handed an easy lot in life, as both are without parents and trying to support themselves, and we follow them as they train and prepare for the Scorpio Races.
With everything this book has going for it, the romance is the icing on the cake: it doesn’t take over or drive the whole story, but rather is just present, slow burning, and is just a really nice development .
This book offers so much action and otherworldly charm along with a truly unique story, so if you’re looking for my opinion, read it. I think you’d like it so much that I’d bet on it.*
*(…get it? Horse racing pun? …sorry im so lame u guys)