“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.” – Maggie Stiefvater, The Scorpio Races
I’m sure everyone is aware of The Scorpio Races as it has recently been making the rounds again in the bookish community. With it’s iconic first line and typical November weather pervading every page, this is the perfect time of year for it. I decided 2017 was the year to finally see what all the fuss was about. So when my lovely friend Jen on Instagram told me it was her favourite book and she was rereading it, we decided to make it a buddy read!
In case you’ve been living under a rock and have absolutely NO CLUE what this book is about, here’s the blurb from 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.
Ok, first things first. Parts of that blurb are actually a little lame. It makes it sound as though the book is all about romance but it is SO much more than that. In fact, the romance side of things is only one small element of the story. There is so much more focus on courage and friendship and family and belonging. So if the blurb makes you think it will be a soppy teen romance, please don’t be perturbed! Give it a chance.
I honestly did not expect to love this book as much as I did. I first heard of Maggie Stiefvater around the time of Twilight and I’m afraid I might have unwittingly tarred her with the same brush. Admittedly, the Shiver trilogy still doesn’t really appeal to me but The Scorpio Races really demonstrates Stiefvater’s talent as a writer. I loved EVERYTHING about this book. The writing was both simple and powerful. It wasn’t flowery but the author still managed to create some really powerful images and pack a punch in just a few choice words.
The setting of The Scorpio Races was incredible. Thisby was so vividly created that I actually felt like I was there. The sea was a character in itself and I just adored it. SO MUCH PATHETIC FALLACY. And the basis of the story in the water horse mythology was fantastic! Stiefvater has taken old faerie legends and revamped them in the most amazing way.
I found this to be a very character-driven book and I adored them all. Puck was feisty and spirited, Sean was brooding and quiet, Finn was a hoot (and I’m pretty sure he is canon OCD which is awesome!), and George Holly was intriguing and charm itself. I felt genuine loathing towards the villains and even minor characters felt fully realised; I felt like I knew every single one of them. Plus the chemistry! The heat between Puck and Sean was REAL. I ship it. (But again, don’t let the romance element put you off; it was very well done.)
Finally, the ending!! Oh my word, I was a little bit of a mess. It was beautiful and heart-rending, and it confirmed The Scorpio Races as a new favourite of mine. I already know that I will be rereading this book in future.
Hopefully you actually got some sense from this review and it didn’t just read as incoherent flailing! This book gave me all the emotions. Just wow. Go read this if you haven’t already!!
Anyone else a fan of The Scorpio Races? Which is your favourite Stiefvater book besides this one? Has anyone read her newest book, All the Crooked Saints?