Book Review:: The Scorpio Races – Maggie Stiefvater

tumblr_nmtnzvnfjr1un3h3wo1_1280Date started: September 7, 2016

Date ended: September 18, 2016 

Stars: ★★★★

“There are moments that you’ll remember for the rest of your life and there are moments that you think you’ll remember for the rest of your life, and it’s not often they turn out to be the same moment.”

I could not have read this book at a more opportune time. This week has just been gloomy and overcast, full of rain and humidity. This isn’t exactly the weather that the book is set but overcast and gloomy fit. I was in love with the idea of this book: magical water horses, romance, and crumbling island in the sea. Plus, when I got the audiobook from my local library it’s read by two of my favorite actors, Steve West and Fiona Hardingham. In this cases, they sound exactly as I thought Sean and Puck would sound. It just added to the ambiance of the story. This story is haunting too. I don’t really understand what makes it so but I was still reeling hours after I had closed the book. I think it’s the characters, then, on the other hand, I think it’s the story and the mystical strange water horses.

This story is haunting too. I don’t really understand what makes it so but I was still reeling hours after I had closed the book. I think it’s the characters, then, on the other hand, I think it’s the story and the mystical strange water horses. I kept returning to the beaches of Thisby, which was problematic when I was supposed to be present at work. But I just didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to know it was all over. For some reason, Maggie Stiefvater is gifted with writing stories and series that leave you wanting more. The problem is, at some point, there isn’t any more left. This happened when I finished her Wolves of Mercy Falls series and I bet when I finish The Rave Boys I’ll feel similar. All of them are wonderful, haunting, spectacular, and heartbreakingly beautiful.

The Scorpio Races is set in a small English town of Thisby, where Puck Connolly and Sean Kendrick are our main characters. They are both brooding, headstrong, and stubborn, perfectly akin to their surroundings. Every year, in November, The Scorpio Races are held.  The Races are full of death, blood, and glory and Sean Kendrick is a four-time winner. Both characters can bond over the loss of their parents to the cappal uisce and have to grow and fend for themselves from a young age. Puck also has her brothers to think and care for. I loved the characters because they weren’t typical and their romance wasn’t typical. It wasn’t over the top teen romance, it was a slow simmer that eventually boiled over. It’s a love that matches Thisby. I loved this about them.

tumblr_ny7sabjwv91utbyvho1_1280You all know me and how I love a strong heroine but I loved Puck Connolly more because she is fire. She is stubborn, strong, outspoken, and very abrupt. She takes no shit and will give it back just as hard. There’s a quote in the book that sums up Puck quite nicely.

“My mother always said that I was born out of a bottle of vinegar instead of born from a womb and that she and my father bathed me in sugar for three days to wash it off. I try to behave, but I always go back to the vinegar.”

I also loved the part of the story where Puck is the first woman to ever ride (or even try) in the Races. She faces a lot of obstacles and prejudices but handles them in her feisty way. She has a reason for doing what she’s doing and nothing and no one will stop her.

The only complaint that I have about The Scorpio Races is that it talks about the horses too much. For me, this is not a problem, really, because I love horses and grew up around them. But even to me, this was an aspect that niggled me throughout the book. I would’ve dialed it back a little but honestly, it’s something that adds to the story because it’s the core of Thisby. The cappal uisce are the lifeline for Thisby, they are the heart of the island. So, if the reader understands this, then they understand why Stiefvater explains in detail the horses. It’s beautiful at times and enhances the story.

I loved this book, it’s one of my favorites, I want to go back and reread it in November to really feel inside the novel. But this is a book I will recommend to people even if they hate horses because the characters are pure of heart and the story is pure magic.

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