This one would have so many more stars if it were possible. This was pretty much my perfect book and a definite favorite for 2011.
Now if I can just do a review about this book without being reduced to some kind of drooling, mindless creature, gushing "oh my gawd, this is the best book EVER", I'll count this as a win.
Seriously, the book is THAT GOOD.
Every time I heard about a book that was to be set in Ireland or Scotland and made reference to lore, this is the book I wanted, but never got. (Not to say anything bad about the other books...they were good...they just weren't THIS).
When I heard about The Scorpio Races, all I was told was that it was a book about a race featuring killer horses. At which point I thought "Huh... Cool!" and that was that. What it didn't say was that the book really wasn't centred around the race itself--I was picturing something like the hunger games, where the games itself were a huge part of the book--but about life on the island during the days and weeks leading up to the race. The race itself is only about five minutes, and while it's a huge important part of the story, the story itself is centred around Puck, the first girl to ever enter the races, and Sean, the reigning champion.
They both have their own reasons to enter, even though they know they might not survive, and that is the real heart of the story. Their interactions with the people in the town, and with eachother, were both heartbreaking and infuriating. The characters created by Stiefvater in this book were proabably the most REAL I've ever read.
The characters...the settings...the mythology...the relationships. I adored them all.
Maggie Stiefvater wrote a blog post, saying that The Scorpio Races was the book she was always meant to write.
It was perfect.