The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

8:00 AM

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: October 18, 2011 (hardcover)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 416
Source: ARC provided by publisher 

Overall: 5 Stars

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. Others die.

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 chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

My Thoughts: 
For a long while now, I've been stumbling to formulate words that could possibly describe Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races. Every time I began to write a sentence, I would immediately delete everything and start over from scratch. But I've come to the realization that no matter how hard I try to rearrange my words, I'm sure I will still fail to capture what an extraordinary novel Maggie Stiefvater has crafted in her first standalone novel. 

There's a certain elegance to Maggie Stiefvater's prose which is truly her own style. Her words flow so seamlessly that you barely notice the pages eagerly turned as the story progresses. And in The Scorpio Races, she sweeps you away into a world that's at once enticing and exhilarating... but also frighteningly dangerous and cold at the same time. I was utterly fascinated by the capaill uisce, these ferocious water horses who were drawn to the Scorpio Sea in mysterious and magical ways. They’re incredibly deadly and wild creatures, and while they continue to be drawn to land as November approaches, they’re still only a heartbeat away from being beckoned back to the turbulent waters whence they came from. 

I would have thought the actual Scorpio Races would have been longer, but really, Maggie Stiefvater emphasizes the challenges which both Puck and Sean needed to face in order to even make it race day. They both enter the races for very different reasons, but in the end, their goals are the same: freedom. Puck was courageous and brave to stand up for her family, and no matter how unfair life had been to her, she pulled herself together when it counted and carried on. Sean’s strong, quiet demeanour may have hid his sweet heart… but it was his love for riding with Corr, his capall uisce, which had my heart completely reaching out to him. The relationship that unfolds between Puck and Sean builds with a slow-burning intensity, but showcased how they were such a well-matched pair...

You'll be hard-pressed to find another novel as original and beautifully written as Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races. Everything leads up to an ending which will leave your heart pounding in your chest and absolutely nervous to see who will win… and who will fail. Even if you’re not a fan of horses in novels, I’m quite sure it won’t stop you from absolutely enjoying The Scorpio Races

Thanks so much to Scholastic Canada for providing this review copy!

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  1. LOL, I'm not generally a big fan of "horse books" but this one sounds really different! I've been reading quite a few positive reviews so even though it's a bit outside my usual bookish fare, I might have to give it a shot :)

  2. I love Maggie Stiefvater's writing and I've heard a lot of good things about this one so I'll have to pick up a copy soon. Great review!

  3. Wasn't it wonderful?! I just adored it. And I totally agree about liking it even if you're not a fan of "horse books" as Danya has put it. =b Plus I didn't really like "Shiver" at all, but this one? Loved!

  4. Glad this book turned out well for you! :D

  5. Oh my gosh YES. Totally agree, this book was just... beyond amazing. I KNOW that Maggie is ridiculously talented, but every time I dive into a new book of hers, she still manages to blow me away.

    You did give this novel justice with your incredible review <3

  6. I adored this book so, so much. Maggie is such a brilliant writer and she rarely - if not at all - disappoints readers. Sad to see this one as only a standalone.

  7. Absolutely beautiful review, I think you did a brilliant job capturing what I loved so much about this story! I had thought the race itself might be a little longer as well, but it made sense that the build up was the important part. I loved every second of this one, so glad you did too Liz!

  8. Oh yes! Maggie Stiefvatr's writing is absolutely beautiful! and she excels in this novel! I wonder, what is she working in right now? There are no news about any upcoming book yet. I cant wait!
    great review my dear =) muah!

    Dazzling Reads

  9. I wasn't a fan of Shiver and so didn't bother reading the other books in the series but thought it had a pretty good writing style. It seems like that carries over to The Scorpio Races and since I've seen some pretty good reviews for this one, I'm willing to give it a try.

  10. Eeeep, AWESOME review Liz! I was kind of wary about it because I wasn't a fan of shiver, but i just read TSR the other day and you were so right, it's AWESOME :D And I didn't know a thing about horses beforehand! :P

  11. Well, that's totally changed my mind on it. For no reason whatsoever I felt a little unsure about his one. I think Maggie Stiefvater's writing is wonderful, but the blurb and cover didn't grab me for...sounds like I was mistaken! Will add it to my TBR.

  12. Beautiful review! I've read so many good things about this one, I might just have to put it on my list for Santa :) For whatever reason, I have yet to read anything by Maggie Stievater, but hopefully that will be changing soon!

  13. The Scorpio Races was missing something. I never really felt connected to the story. I kept trying to feel something for Puck and Sean. I wanted to care about them and their reasoning behind running in the race. But, it never came. And since I wasn't invested in their stories, I had a hard time reading the book.

  14. Just as good, if not better, than the first one. Loved the story and characters and everything just gets more complex and better.
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