Based loosely on the mythological water horses, Stiefvater introduces a wild island dominated by its traditional Scorpio races that take place each November. In these races, men ride barely tamed, flesh eating water horses who still feel the strong pull of the sea. The goal is to complete the race without being eaten, trampled, or pulled out to sea.
Sean Kendrick, a seventeen-year-old water horse expert, has won the race four years in a row, but this year he races to own the water horse he loves. Puck Connely, the first woman to compete, rides to save her home. As they train, these two young people learn more about themselves, their island, and what they want from life.
The characters are strong, interesting, and deep and they each show loyalty and commitment to what is right. The Scorpio Races is a good read for older teenagers, especially those interested in horses and racing.