The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater

In the middle of all this, as Sean slips out of his jacket, he looks over his shoulder at me and he smiles at me, just a glancing, faint thing before he turns back to Tommy. I’m quite happy for that smile, because Dad told me once you should be grateful for the gifts that are the rarest.

To be published on October 18, 2011 by Scholastic Press.

ARC copy received by publisher for this review.

Rating: 4 stars

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. 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 Kendrick is the returning champion. 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.

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.

My Review:

I had requested this book because the author is Maggie Steifvater. I figured that any book written by the same person that wrote the Wolves of Mercy Falls series would be good. Honestly, this book did not capture my attention at first. I had never heard of a water horse before.

I really feel the need to explain what a water horse is because I have a feeling that a lot of you have not heard of them either. There are a lot of different myths regarding water horses. In the book, The Scorpio Races, water horses appear in November. They come out of the ocean, usually at night. They eat flesh, are very fast and are very fierce. Every year in the town of Thisby, they hold the races. Racers will capture a water horse, or use one that they had previously captured, than train it using different techniques. They had never had a woman enter to race before, but this year will be a lot different.

There are alternating POV’s. Sean and Kate a.k.a Puck. They have both lost their parents in some capacity due to the horses and they both have their own reasons for entering the race, but somehow, their worlds collide and this will be a race that no one in the town will forget.

Sean is a loner and tends to be very quiet. He takes in his surroundings but doesn’t really have much to say to people. His one and only love is his water horse, Corr.

Kate/Puck is young and lives with her two brothers. They do not have a lot of money and they have to work very hard to survive. She enjoys spending time with her horse, Dove.

When I first started reading this book, I was not so sure that I would be able to finish it. I connected with Kate before I felt any connection to Sean. As the book continued on though, I started to feel a connection to both characters. I was able to understand the reasons behind Sean being so timid and quiet. I really started to enjoy the interaction between Sean and Puck.

There is a slight romance starting here in the first book, but mostly, the book focuses on the horses and the race. We do get to see Sean open up a little and we get to see Puck start to lose a little control.

In the end, I am really glad that I continued to read this book through. The horses fascinate me and I believe that this particular mythical creature is very uncommon in the YA genre. I thank Ms. Steifvater for bringing these fine creatures to our attention! There is nothing that states that this could turn into a series, but the book is left open at the end. Yes, it is a little sad and I found myself tearing up. I’m such a mush!!!

“I will not be your weakness, Sean Kendrick.”

Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, “It’s late for that, Puck.”




  1. Yeah, I had not really heard of a water horse before this. At least not in the flesh-eating context. This sounds like it might be kind of interesting…

    Thanks for posting this review – I’ve seen this title pop up a few places lately, but had no idea really what it was about.


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