The Scorpio Races is a YA fantasy novel by Maggie Stiefvater.
What can I say here? I went into The Scorpio Races with little to no knowledge about what it was about, trusting in the author to deliver an excellent story, as she’s done with the Shiver trilogy. Now that I’ve read it, devoured it, and been absolutely dumbfounded by it – well, how can I give a synopsis? If I do, I know that you won’t have the same experience I did – but if I don’t, what if you don’t read it?
Here’s what I’ll do – I will give a slight summary of the basic plot for those of you who want/need it. I’ll make identifying marks “---“ to indicate where the description is. Then, those of you who want to have the no-previous-knowledge experience can just look for the ending “---“ to read some adjectives I would use to explain my flabbergasted response to The Scorpio Races. Sound good? Alright, here goes:
Nineteen-year-old Sean Kendrick has been involved in the Scorpio races since he was very young. In fact, he’s a multiple winner and seems to have an almost supernatural effect on the wild, lethal, massive, flesh-eating water horses than emerge from sea, the water horses that are used as the means of racing.
Puck Connelly has lived on the same island as Sean her entire life but has never has aspirations to race. People died, it was bloody – and really, she’d rather ride on her beloved horse and stay away from the competition that always turned vicious. But now her parents are dead and she and her brothers are in serious trouble financially – she feels she has no choice but to join the Scorpio races in the ambition of winning and saving her family.
But Puck is the first girl ever to ride and there are many who aren’t happy with that changing. Both Sean and Puck have reasons to desperately want to win - and will find that this race, this time, their lives may be entirely different when the race is over.
That is, if they still have their lives at all…
Okay. Maggie Stiefvater has really outdone herself this time. I really, really liked the Shiver trilogy. In fact, you could say I loved it – but that pales in comparison to the masterpiece that she has created in The Scorpio Races!
I’m not even kidding. For me, The Scorpio Races was just flat-out brilliant. She takes a myth, a legend, which I’ve never heard of and presents a terrifying, gory, deadly race with horses that are more like monsters than pets and creates one of the most stirring, unique books I’ve ever read!
Her characters have grace, maturity, and depth as they struggle with relatable issues of loss, fear, family, worry, jealousy, vindictive cruelty of others and love. She manages to make this ruthless race seem almost ordinary – not necessarily without its fantasy elements, but more that she weaves an environment of people who are used to, if not always pleased with, these races and these water horses that arise from the ocean to kill and race.
It’s hard even to describe it, really.
The Scorpio Races is a heartbreaker for animal lovers like me, and probably for almost anyone – as Maggie Stiefvater so eloquently, masterfully writes with raw emotion.
This is literature at its best. You absolutely must read this. At least give it a chance, because this one floored me.
The Scorpio Races is a superb, brilliant, powerful, beautiful, spectacular, breathtaking, matchless, nerve-wrackingly suspenseful, poignant, phenomenal, exquisite, passionate masterpiece of a book!!!!!