The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

When I was growing up as a kid of a girl in West Texas, all of my friends loved horses. They were all planning to grow up to be veterinarians. Not I.

I think my horse-loving friends would have liked The Scorpio Races, a fantasy horse novel for young adults that’s been all the rage over the past several months. I’ve seen lots of positive reviews. And I can see why. However, I had trouble getting into the book, partly because of all the horses. And there are not only lots of horses, but they’re sort of monster horses, called capaill uisce, that eat raw meat and drink blood. The horses come from the sea, and they’re killers. Either that idea is intriguing to you or it’s repellent. I’ll let you guess which category I fall into.

So, if you’re in the “more horses, please” camp, check out the reviews linked below. If you’re just not sure, I will say that the story was good, based on Irish and Scots legends of kelpies and water horses. I do like novels based on fairy tales and legends, and the writing was evocative of a wild setting for wild hearts. It’s just that this one in particular was a little too horsey for my tastes.

The Allure of Books: “The island becomes a living breathing thing – perhaps the strongest of the characters. I felt pulled into the magic of the capall uisce, the deadly horses from the sea.”

Rhapsody in Books: “This enchanting tale spun from Irish mythology puts you right beside the sea, tasting the salt water in the air and the honeyed goodness of ‘November cakes,’ feeling the grit of sand on your feet, and seeing dark shapes in the crashing surf.”

A Patchwork of Books: “Wildly exciting, yet beautifully written. I was completely enthralled with both Puck’s and Sean’s stories, frantically flipping pages in order to learn what would happen next. The mythical aspect was woven into the story without pause and left me wanting to research more on these water horses.”

2 thoughts on “The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. While I love horses, I am not all that into reading western/horse centered type fiction. I’ve seen this book around but it never really appealed to me all that much. Thank you for the warning on the level of horse talk. 🙂

  2. I must admit, ever since I heard Maggie say that her other books–shiver…I can’t remember the titles–were werewolf nookie books, I have had a yucky feeling about anything she writes. I have never read anything she’s written and I probably never will read anything she’s written. And I’m sure she doesn’t care. She has a big enough audience without me.

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