The much talked-about Scorpio Races is a paranormal adventure romance with the premise that every November wild carnivorous horses rise out of the sea and wreak havoc on a tiny Celtic island.
Men of the island capture and try to tame the predatory horses so that they can ride them in the yearly Scorpio Races. The prize is a big pot of money for the winner, and a hoard of rich race-crazed tourists spreading their wealth across the village.
The cost is also great, however. Many riders are ripped apart at the teeth of these great and unpredictable beasts both during the races and in the training beforehand. Told in alternating viewpoints, The Scorpio Races depicts the preparations and outcome of one special year’s race.
Puck Connolly is the sister between an older and a younger brother, orphaned when wild sea horses capsized their parents’ fishing boat several years back.
If Puck and her horse, Dove, can win the Scorpio Race, she can use the money to save their house. But no woman has ever ridden in the races, and no regular horse has ever run. There are many who want to keep it that way.
Sean Kendrick is a veteran of the races at age nineteen, having won four times on his horse, Corr. He’s the quiet, brooding type, with troubles of his own that he keeps to himself.
At first he tells Puck to keep her horse off the beach where training is taking place. It’s too dangerous, and he doesn’t want to have to rescue her again. But eventually he becomes her ally.
The novel is slow to start, and while I wanted to love the mysterious and powerful carnivorous horses rising from the sea, I couldn’t. Not until the end when the heart of one of the monsters is revealed.
It’s a page turner once you read far enough to get hooked, and Stiefvater’s use of language makes the world come alive in a spine-tingling way. The end, while puzzling in some ways is also very satisfying.
The Scorpio Races is recommended for ages 14 and up.