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.
I debated for a long time about whether or not to read the book or listen to the audiobook. There are some books that are better read than listened to and some that are better listened to than read. Well, after listening to an audiobook sample of The Scorpio Races, I immediately put it on my ‘to listen’ list. I think the performances in the audiobook are worth listening to and really make the book come to life.
The Scorpio Races is set in Thisby, a fictional island of the coast of Britain. This island is no ordinary island. Every November water horses, also known as Capaill Uisge, come on shore. These horses are more monsters than actual horses. They are violent horse like creatures that love the sea and blood. Every November Thisby hosts the Scorpio Races, where riders race Capaill Uisge. The story is alternates perspectives between two characters, Puck and Sean.
When I first heard the story was about man-eating horses I didn’t quite no what to think. I love Maggie Stiefvater but do I really love her that much. Well, I’m so glad I took a chance on this book because it was beautifully written. It has to Maggie’s best work so far. If you read, or listen, to epilogue you will learn that the Capaill Uisge are actually based off of an ancient myth about water horses. I don’t know about you but this is the first time I’ve every hear of this myth. There are several versions of the myth and Maggie took the bloodthirsty water horse one. I commend Maggie for her bravery in writing this book as it’s probably a difficult pitch to make. I’m grateful the publishers took a chance on this one because it’s so good.
What made this book so good was the originality, the characters, the narration, the writing, the setting, and right down to the frightening horses. I loved it all. Puck and Sean have unique plights and you feel for both of them equally. Puck is trying to save her family’s home and to do so she’s running in the Scorpio Races to win the big money prize. Sean is the horse trainer for the richest man on the island. Among one of those horses is the Capaill Uisge, Corr, a horse he’s known since childhood and shares a strong bond with. Only the horse doesn’t belong to him it belongs someone else. Sean rides in the races every year with Corr and has won them 4 years in row.
There is a slight romance in the book but The Scorpio Races is not solely about a love story. I don’t mind that the romance plays such a small role because the book doesn’t need it. When it finally happens it’s more sweet that angsty and that is such a relief from the norm.
The narrators were phenomenal and their British accents made you feel like you were in Thisby with the characters. Sean’s character did sound a lot like Clive Owen, which was cool but sometimes it made me picture him as Sean. I got passed it though and I didn’t for a second regret listening to the book instead of reading it.
Clearly, I recommend this book since I loved it so much. If you are in the mood for something completely different, The Scorpio Races is the book for you. I think older teenagers and adults would love this book. It’s a beautiful book, so don’t hesitate to read it.