Book Review: The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater

This is a beautiful book.
I don’t normally read books about horses- I’m just not particularily a horse person. The last ‘horse book’ I read was The Shepherdess of Siena back in… oh gosh, 2015- and the only horse joke that comes to mind is the fact that Horace Mann Elementary School’s mascot is a centaur.

But I digress.
I’ve finally managed to put my finger on what it is I adore most about Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is the description. As an English nerd, syntax might hit the nail more firmly on the head, but regardless, I cannot get away.

“The water is so cold that my feet go numb almost at once. I stretch my arms out to either side of me and close my eyes. I listen to the sound of water hitting water. The raucous cries of the terns and the guillemots in the rocks of the shore, the piercing, hoarse questions of the gulls above me. I smell seaweed and fish and the dusky scent of the nesting birds onshore. Salt coats my lips, crusts my eyelashes. I feel the cold press against my body. The sand shifts and sucks out from under my feet in the tide. I’m perfectly still. The sun is red behind my eyelids. The ocean will not shift me and the cold will not take me.”

“My mother always said that I was born out of a bottle of vinegar instead of born from a womb and that she and my father bathed me in sugar for three days to wash it off. I try to behave, but I always go back to the vinegar.”

“It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.”

The way that Puck and Sean’s relationship is written, they hardly have to be touching or kissing or whatever for it to shine through, and I ADORE that. They share a love of the sea and of their horses and of the race, and their relationship, I think, stems much from that.

Do I kind of want closure? Yes. It did end suddenly, and there are loose ends that I’d love to see tied up. But for now, I’m content. This is no fast-paced book, and that’s okay. It’s enough to have what we have and know that Puck and Sean and Finn and Gabe and Holly and (most of) the others’ lives don’t end right then and there. Despite being unwritten, they go on.

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