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  • Published: New York : Scholastic Press, 2011.
  • Year Published: 2011
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 409 p. ; 22 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 840

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780545224901
  • 054522490X



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The Scorpio Races

by Stiefvater, Maggie, 1981-

There are currently 2 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Teen Fiction, R Printz Honor 2012

Available Copies: Malletts Teen

Additional Details

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.

Community Reviews

Drew me in

The Scorpio Races was outstanding. I could hardly put it down, although anything well done and involving horses stands a pretty good chance with me. Nonetheless, Stiefvater does a fantastic job of creating characters who live and breathe through the pages, and the mythological water horses rise out of the sea and the pages. The land, the people, the town, the race... even (maybe especially?) the November cakes... become real under the magic of her poetic prose.

Tension, conflict, relationship, determination, desire. This book drew me in in so many ways. A huge 5 stars for me.

Dual Narrators Create Suspense

Every November, the island of Thisby hosts the deadly Scorpio Races where riders race the bloodthirsty water horses and many die before reaching the finish line, and this year, nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick and spirited sixteen-year-old Kate “Puck” Connolly are both in the race to win. This beautifully crafted YA fantasy draws from the Celtic myth of the water horses, but through its evocative descriptions of the island and its intimate portrayal of harsh island life, the novel has an edge of reality not often seen in YA fantasy. What’s more, the dual narrative structure, with both Sean and Puck relating their story in alternating chapters, sets up an almost unbearable suspense. Both narrators are thoroughly engaging – and Puck’s voice in particular may remind readers of the charismatic Cassandra Mortmain of I Capture the Castle – so readers will be rooting for both characters yet know only one can win; therein lies this novel’s perfect recipe for suspense. While some may find the novel slow to start and the romance between the narrators slow to develop, the pace of the novel so perfectly matches the harsh, repressed world of island that one cannot really fault the novel for being true to itself. Some graphic descriptions of violence and carnage but nothing unusually graphic compared to other YA fantasies.


The Scorpio Races: Maggie Stiefvater

4 stars

Every year on the island, there is a dangerous race that leaves many contestants dead. The horses that are used are not average horses; they are capaill uisces, fast and dangerous. They crave flesh and the sea, which they were caught from. The race course is close to the sea, so one of the challenges for the riders is to keep their horse from returning home.

At age 17, Puck Connolly enters the Scorpio Races to win and use the money to pay off the debt before her house is taken. Her parents died an year ago. In addition, her eldest brother wants to leave for the mainland to earn money. She hopes that winning the race will keep her brother on the island. The Scorpio Races are intended for males and has been that way for centuries. Also, the race is for the sea horses, but Puck chooses to ride her horse. Threatened by the prospect of a female rival, the riders don't want her to ruin the tradition and believe that the horse stands no chance. But Puck isn't affected, she won't let other people tell what she can't do.

Sean Kendrick is a quiet young man who wants to win the race, so he can afford to buy a well known stallion, Corr. Sean won the races a few times already, but he is still plagued with the fear that he won't win. While training for the races, Sean starts to fancy the strong-willed Puck. Thankfully, the romance is not the main point of the story. This is not a book for you if you want a romance novel. Sean and Puck are trying to overcome obstacles that stand in their way.

I think this book is deeper than the other teen stories out there. The characters have more mature problems instead of teen problems. The deaths in the book is PG-13, a few riders are torn apart by the sea horses. I can't give it 5 stars because it's slow at the beginning and the ending is a little too open. The first hundred pages is just about Puck and Sean living in their daily lives and haven't met yet. It feels like there will be a sequel because of the ending, but it's good if you like open endings. This is a single standing book. But, I still recommend it.

Publication Date: October 18, 2011

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Hardcover: 416 pages

View my review at http://urbanhippies0.blogspot.com/2013/07/book-review-by-geling-scorpio-races_11.html

Irish Islands, Myth, and Horses

I'm not sure that readers who aren't as interested in horses, history, and mythology would be as thrilled with this story as I was.


It was okay. A lot of people have told me that they really liked this book but I didn't enjoy it. Book was slow and the plot line ended horribly, leading up to a three paged action scene.

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