Michelle's Reviews > The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
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's review
Oct 03, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: young-adult
Read in May, 2013

This whole world is rough and just this side of vicious, a place not built for comfort. You start out wondering why the characters like it at all, but then Stiefvater wraps you up in it until by the end of the book you can't help but love every piece of it. I could fall in love with just the sounds in this book, or the bitter sea wind and biting rain. I did fall in love with the feeling of galloping flatout along a cliff edge, riding bareback and double on a dangerous horse. This book is atmospheric, and all-encompassing and makes you remember what it is to live in a small community where you've known everybody's names and faults so long that they seem like laws of nature.

Sean Kendrick, perfectly named, is a slice of shadow whose reticence implies depth, and whose depth makes it impossible to look away from. I started out irritated by Puck and puzzled at her decisions, but the more you get to know the island the more you realize you could never be soft and gentle and choose to live there: she is just prickly enough, just contrary enough to make her way in a world like that.

The end made me ache, because Stiefvater writes endings that fall into place with the inevitable grace of a bolt slamming home, but (like life) they never answer all the questions I have left.

UPDATE: First read in March 2012, reread in May 2013. On the re-read, I caught a little bit more of the idea that Puck is the island and the land horses, and Sean is the sea and the sea horses, and together they are Thisby, the eccentrically awful island they irrationally love. This book blows my mind. It is the kind of book that, if you are an author and you've written it, you set down your pen with a sense that were you never to write another word, you had done your business in this world, and done it with style.

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