Review | The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio RacesEvery October the dangerous, blood drinking water horses called capaill uisce (CAP-ul ISH-kuh), emerge from the sea onto the beaches of Thisby Island. Many men from Thisby and a few brave souls from the mainland capture the horses and attempt to train them to ride in the famous Scorpio Races that happen in November. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick has won the Scorpio Races multiple times. 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. Sean is a water horse whisperer of sorts.

Kate Connolly always grew up being shielded from the Scorpio Races and their horrors by her parents. She never intended to ride in them. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so, and on a land horse at that! The odds are stacked against her, but desperate to save her family home and keep her older brother around as long as possible, Kate (Puck) is determined to ride in races.

The Scorpio Races was so wonderful that for days after I finished it, I was longing for more. I truly had a hard time starting another book for about a week, because I kept thinking of Sean and Puck and their horses.

The love story is this book is subtle, yet extremely powerful and beautiful.

Puck is one of the strongest female characters I’ve ever encountered. I loved her determination, her loyalty, and her strength in the midst of difficult circumstances.

The Scorpio Races is not a page turner. It builds and develops slowly, but strongly. However, once I got about half-way through it, I couldn’t put it down. I’m a bit torn about this being a four or five star book. There was so much of it that was five-star, but I didn’t love the last few pages. The book is a stand alone and I kind of wish it had been tied up with a tighter bow. That said, it’s definitely a new favorite of mine.

The audio version was absolutely fantastic and won the Odyssey Honor in 2012 (the Odyssey Award is given for excellence for audiobook production). The Scorpio Races was also awarded the Printz Honor in 2012 (the Printz Award is given for excellence in young adult literature).


Overall Rating:   4 of 5 stars false1/2

Parent’s guide:

  • Sex: mild kissing
  • Language: mild
  • Violence: carnivorous horses that kill animals and people, some fight scenes, a fairly intense horse race scene

Attack of the Books! is participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, a month long quest to post every day. Each day should match a letter of the alphabet. Today is the letter S (as in The Scorpio Races).





  • What an interesting concept for a book. You’ve made me curious. I’ll have to check it out. I think there is a place for a well written book that doesn’t slam you into action with the first word. If it’s done correctly, the slow building book works great because with each scene there is a compelling reason to go on. The tension increases with every scene. I like those type of books, too.

  • Looks like a good one! Thanks for visiting my blog today.

    • De nada. We hope you’ll come back again, soon.

  • Wow, I’m sure we have some reading likes in common… I am reading more slowly these days to savor the words – while it’s enjoyable to read, I like to remember something of the book and don’t always when I read quickly.

    • It’s a true story, Courtney. Something can be lost when read too fast.