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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

by Maggie Stiefvater

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I loved _The Scorpio Races_. Is it that I enjoy all books that focus on semi-obscure Welsh/Celtic bestiary, or that I simply adore Maggie Stiefvater? Maybe, it's a happy blending of the two.

_The Scorpio Races_ is a story about the annual horse race that takes place on the island of Thisby. The twist is that the race is run on capaill uisce, carnivorous, violent water horses, known for attacking and killing their riders. Stiefvater's ominous opening sentence sets the stage for carnage. "It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die." And she does not disappoint. This is a spooky tale, steeped in timeless ritual and mystery, as old as the island it is set on.

This is, under the fear and blood, a love story. Girl and boy meet under dire circumstances. Romance is destined. But, there is a more powerful love story, treading beneath the surface; the love between boy and monster. That is what holds you after you have finished the story.

I generally have a reading rule; if violence is done to an animal, I stop reading. It bothers me in a way that is different and deeper than my revulsion when something violent and horrible happens to a person. Despite some visually, violent scenes, I kept reading. This may sound small, but I am betting that someone out there can relate. This book is that good. Honest.

Recommend it for students in grades 9+, and adults. ( )
  Debra_Armbruster | Apr 13, 2015 |
RGG: The two voices of Puck and Sean are intensely romantic, which is only heightened by the setting of a harsh, isolated island to which the water horses are lured and "tamed." A wonderful read! Reading Level: 12 - YA.
  rgruberhighschool | Apr 5, 2015 |
Adult Reader Reaction: Wow! I quickly forgot that the water horses are fantasy. The story itself is compelling, and Puck and Sean have incredible voice that pulls and pushes as you turn the page.

Pros: Hold on tight for an amazing ride! Readers will be on the edge of their seats hoping and cheering from page 1 to the very last word.

Read our full review and add yours at The Reading Tub®.
  TheReadingTub | Apr 3, 2015 |
Loved it! ( )
  Verkruissen | Mar 25, 2015 |
On the first of November, the island of Thisby hosts the dangerous Scorpio Races, which both Puck Connolly and Sean Kendrick desperately need to win. Stiefvater richly develops the desolate island of Thisby and makes the mythology of water horses her own with the violent Capaill uisce. The plot of The Scorpio Races slowly meanders over the course of a few hundred pages as complex characters are introduced and conflict gradually builds, and the final hundred pages of the book are worth the lyrical if sometimes slow lead-up. The Scorpio Races resists both cheesy instant romance and a flashy plot, instead opting for well-developed supporting characters, attention to detail, and a simmering relationship built on respect and mutual interests. Puck Connolly grapples with gender discrimination in the Races, and Stiefvater deftly unpacks Puck’s societal norms without being didactic. The Scorpio Races also explores class, family, kinship, and loyalty as Puck and Sean are tested to their limits. A fantastic standalone novel, The Scorpio Races is highly recommended for ages thirteen through seventeen. ( )
  Jessie_Bear | Mar 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
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To Marian, who sees horses in her dreams
First words
It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die. (Prologue: Nine Years Earlier: Sean)
People say my brothers would be lost without me, but really, I'd be lost without them. (Chapter One: Puck)
You only have to be the fastest of those who are left.
It's easy to convince men to love you, Puck. All you have to do is be a mountain they have to climb or a poem they don't understand. Something that makes them feel strong or clever. It's why they love the ocean.
My mother always said that I was born out of a bottle of vinegar instead of born from a womb and that she and my father bathed me in sugar for three days to wash it off. I try to behave, but I always go back to the vinegar.
The evening sun loves her throat and her cheekbones. (p. 359)
I feel the island underneath me and Sean's mouth on my lips, and I wonder if luck will be on our side today. (p. 373)
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Haiku summary
Capaill uisce are
Race horses with a difference:
Fast and furious.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 054522490X, Hardcover)

Product Description
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Shiver and Linger comes a brand new, heart-stopping novel.

With her trademark lyricism, Maggie Stiefvater turns to a new world, where a pair are swept up in a daring, dangerous race across a cliff--with more than just their lives at stake should they lose.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

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