A review by billyjepma
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

adventurous emotional mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


This is one of those books that sweeps you into a world you never knew you longed for. It revels in the folkloric—yet no-less believable—place it creates and breathes life into every one of its characters, no matter how fleeting their time on the page might be. Stiefvater's writing is just gorgeous, too, and her voice is poetic without being distracting, blunt without feeling shallow, and so precise that there were countless lines or turns of phrase that stopped me in my tracks. She has this way of describing things in a way you've never heard before and yet somehow feel like you grew up hearing them. I relished every moment spent in the story, every tensely held breath, every embarrassing gasp at the warm embers of an emerging romance, every profane word I shouted when the book threw another heartwrenching twist at me. I’m going to be coming to this one for a long time. 

Update (12/28/23): Somehow, it might be even better on a re-read? It’s such a rich, ferocious, and lived-in story, with a vividly persuasive sense of place that I can’t help but get immersed in. I love how genuine the nervy, anxious relationships are, and how much restraint Stiefvater shows in a lot of the pacing. It’s a patient, rewarding book with a raw, earthy quality that occupies you as much as you occupy it. I’m glad I went for the audiobook this time, too. Both narrators are perfect and give the characters the exact voices I always imagined. Love, love, love this book. 

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