I have been dying to read anything by Maggie Stiefvater ever since I finished Blue Lily, Lily Blue. When I'm in the mood for some really magical prose, I know I can turn to Maggie, and she won't let me down. I'm so glad she has proved my theory correct once again with The Scorpio Races! I am also very grateful that Amanda let me review and keep her copy of it because it was incredible!
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Synopsis:My Bookish Thoughts:
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Race. 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 Kednrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of 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 know I have read something transcendent when I can put the book down when I'm finished and still feel perfectly content. Yes, I still have ALL THE FEELS, but there is no feeling of unresolved issues or longing. This stand alone was killer, and it was wrapped up so perfectly that I left this book feeling at peace and happy. While this book began making me feel the same way I did when I first read The Raven Boys, in that Maggie knows what she wants to do with her characters and the plot and doesn't need to rush to get there. She is deliberate and calculating with her execution, and in my opinion, nails it every time. Have enough of me gushing over Maggie yet? Well, let's talk about the storyline, shall we?
This story is loosely based around the myths of the water horse--a mythical creature who sings a siren song to lure victims to the edge of the water before eating or drowning them. There's some mythology, dashed with fiction, and also there are some definite pagan references, but all in all the story is about bravery and heart and love.
The cleaver writing style will have you captivated after a mere few chapters. It does take some time to get into the swing of it, but once the pendulum gets going, it's like a juggernaut propelling you forward at unstoppable speed. There is no cataloging of information. The book makes you think and refer back to conversations previously had which I respect. Readers are smart enough to grasp the subtle nuances and Maggie knows that.
There is also a way of making something so unreal, such as horses that rise from the sea and have a race each November, and bending it to make it seem like the most mundane, natural thing in the entire world. That is story crafting at its finest. Though the tone seems rather dark it is peppered with witty banter and dry humor to give respite when needed. Here is an example as our main character, Puck, describes her brother Finn.
Now that I look for it, I can see that he's crawling out of his skin with excitement. Finn never looks more excited--he just gets faster. Finns are generally slow moving creatures.
The Scorpio Races is chalk full of heart ache, longing, and suspense. Stiefvater is the master of mannerisms, the princess of prose, and one of the most magical story tellers I know. This is a satisfying read for anyone and everyone.
There are many references to a glorious thing called a November cake in this book. You MUST check out this recipe since they absolutely divine! As I said, it can't be fiction if there's a recipe.
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.
About the Reviewer:
My name is Brittany and I'm a 30 year old, abibliophobic introvert and lover of things that begin with K. Caffeinated super-mama by day & caffeinated bookworm by night! Random ramblings are very much my thing so be prepared for some nonsensical-ness and major fangirling. I love books, you love books... so let's be friends!Connect with her at the following sites: