Book Review: The Scorpio Races

Posted February 22nd, 2014 by in book review / 1 comment

Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Version Read: Paperback (library)
Publication Date: October 22nd, 2011
Categories:  fantasy, fiction, irish-mythology, magic, mythology, romance, young-adult
Rating: 4halfstars

Summary (Blurb/Goodreads):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.

The Scorpio Races was just about perfect. I found myself annoyed that I hadn’t read it before now, however I have now read it and enjoyed it.

Maggie Stiefvater manages to capture the less-than-pleasant side of Celtic mythology beautifully in her depiction of the Water Horses. We tend think of horses as being majestic, graceful and usually friendly creatures with only the odd one being nasty. Not so in the case of the Capaill Uisce. They are nasty, vicious, bloodthirsty creatures who would rather eat you then anything else. Unsurprisingly, given how human nature works, they are the star attraction and purpose for the Scorpio Races.

The worldbuilding in the Scorpio Races was really good. You were able to get a good sense of the town and it’s people, how the Races are their main source of finance because they bring people to the island from the mainland, and of course the betting helps as well. You got the feeling of a small, isolated town where men still governed the way things were and the people were mostly against change or hard to convince that it would be good for them.

I coulodn’t give this five stars, simply because there were a few parts that dragged or felt a little unnecessary to me. Mostly just bits and pieces of fill in about background characters that didn’t really have anything to do with the main part of the story, and because they weren’t I felt it took away from the main story a little bit. I would have liked to know a bit more about Gabe and Finn as well, mostly because at least part of their fate is entwined with Puck’s.

The ending, which I won’t give away, is poignant and not quite what I was expecting, although still a nice ending because the main story was wrapped up and you could imagine Puck & Sean going about their future together on the island. In all, it was a great stand-alone story, which are getting hard to find in the YA category at the moment.

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