The Scorpio Races- Book Review
Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
This book was so much better than I expected.
I read this book because I loved the Raven Cycle, and Cait at PaperFury wrote about how much she loves this book (Thanks for the recommendation!). I didn’t really know what it was about beyond that it involved horse racing, and given that I watch people bet on horse racing a lot at my job, my interest wasn’t exactly peaked. I think the cover also turned me off (what do they say about judging a book by its cover?), so I put off reading it for a while.
This book definitely exceeded my (lowish) expectations. It wasn’t really about horse racing- that was just one aspect of the book. It was really about the Capaill Uisce (thank goodness I listened to the audiobook or I would never know how to pronounce that).
They are Water Horses, violent animals that come from the sea. They are angry, carnivorous, and vicious. They will eat anything and everything, and love the hunt, creating fear and frenzy. The islanders of Thisby, where the horses come to shore, both love and fear them.
Not only that, but once a year, in November, the islanders race the Capaill Uisce. It is a violent, bloody race, full of death and destruction both during the race and before, during training.
As I have mentioned, I love mythology, but I had never heard of the legend of the Capaill Uisce before, so I loved the way that Stiefvater used it and created a whole world around them.
The characters in this book were fully developed and well written. We had Puck and Sean, who are our two narrators and the main characters.
Puck’s parents were killed at sea by the Capaill Uisce, and she now lives with her two brothers, Gabe and Finn. Finn was so precious- I absolutely loved his character development throughout the story. Gabe was more abstract in the story, though- more of a motivator for the plot than anything else.
Puck was a great character- she was clever, quick to anger, snarky, and willing to stand up for herself. She really grew and changed throughout the story, and I loved reading her with her horse, Dove. All of her interactions with Finn and with Sean were also amazing, but her relationship with her horse was definitely one of the strong points of this book.
Sean grew up training and riding the Capaill Uisce. His father died riding Corr in the races, and now sean rides Corr, and trains all of the other horses (water or otherwise) that Melvin (aka the kingpin of Thisby) owns. I loved the relationship portrayed between Sean and Corr, it was so heartbreaking and sweet.
The other side characters were also well developed and interesting- Tommy, Peg, Mutt, Elizabeth, Dory, Annie, and the American all brought a new dynamic to the story through their own side plots, and it definitely drew me into the book.
This book was both action filled and character oriented- a hard thing to find in a book. It balanced both the craziness of the Capaill Uisce, but also had dynamic characters and really focused on the relationships between the characters.
It was well written, with a unique and interesting story, and I definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone. Go read this book! Now I am going to go cry in bed over all the beautiful characters, bye.