Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater [+moodboard]

Goodreads: Some race to win. Others race to survive. 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 choice. So she enters the competition – the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience.


The Scorpio Races is a brilliant blend of the mystical with the real world. In this story, you’ll find a lonely island, mythical water horses, a deep longing for the ocean, peace of mind as well as a comfortable sense of home.

Every November on the island of Thisby the Scorpio Races take place – where men risk it all to race on the powerful water horses for profit and glory.

I loved the fantasy elements in this book. “These are not ordinary horses. Drape them with charms, hide them from the sea, but today, on the beach: Do not turn your back.” The creatures in this story, the cappail uisce, were based on the water horses of Celtic mythology. Twice or three times the size of regular horses with razor-sharp teeth and vicious predators, these creatures the sea personified, powerful, and deadly, but men love them all the same. 

Sean Kendrick is a veteran of the races, a legend on the island, the man you go to see about a horse. But all he cares about is his horse, his capall Cor, and the sea – until he meets Kate “Puck” Connolly. Puck’s lived in Thisby all her life, and she’s never dreamed of leaving. She loves the November cakes, the crowds that gather to watch the races, the cold perilous ocean, and her mare Dove. She never intended to race, and she hates the water horses who killed her parents years ago, but now her older brother’s Gabe’s leaving, and they might lose the house.

I loved Sean and Puck. They’re both so brave, lovely, and quietly intense. The way they see the world is beautiful, and it made me feel like I wanted to visit that island, taste the cakes, feel the November cold that hasn’t quite gotten here yet and watch mythical horses race. The romance subplot was very subtle and something I didn’t expect, but it also felt very natural. I loved how they were there for each other when it mattered, and the hugs, leaning into each other, the small smiles…  “I say, ‘I will not be your weakness, Sean Kendrick.’ Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, ‘It’s late for that, Puck.” 

Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style is just beautiful. It fits the mood of the story perfectly, being both poetic and powerful, and it’s the kind of style that inspires you to write. Also, if you look carefully, you’ll see that most if not all of this author’s books start with a bang – a great quote that just instantly pulls you into the story. In The Dream Thieves, it’s “a secret is a strange thing”. And in The Scorpio Races: “It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”

Overall – I loved this book. I decided to read it after someone recommend it, and it just quietly snuck into my heart. One of my favorite books I read this year. It’s been a couple of weeks since I read it, and I still can’t stop thinking about it! STRONGLY RECOMMEND IT, please go read it And here is my moodboard for this absolutely amazing book!

A moodboard for The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.

2 thoughts on “Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater [+moodboard]

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