Study Guide

The Scorpio Races Competition

By Maggie Stiefvater

Competition

[Finn] retreats back into the cab and the engine revs high as he shifts gears. (1.14)

Puck isn't the only competitive one in her family; her brother Finn loves to race too, at least when he's in his car. Horses probably scare him.

Sometimes a monger will let you have a horse for nothing on the condition that whatever you win in the race, they get four-fifths of it. (7.39)

An entire economic system has sprung up due to people's competitive nature for the Scorpio Races. There are enough people who don't even own capaill who compete. Who would want to run in the race that badly, and why?

Mum liked to say that some things happen for a reason, that sometimes obstacles were there to stop you from doing something stupid. [...] But when she said it to Gabe, Dad told him that sometimes it just means you need to try harder. (7.49)

It looks like Puck got her competitive spirit from her father. If she were alive, Puck's mom would probably be doing anything in her power to keep her daughter from running in the races.

I hear people at the counter placing bets. (10.16)

The people who aren't brave (or stupid) enough to run in the Scorpio Races have their own ways to compete. Gambling is always a viable alternative to scratch that competitive itch, but those who compete against Lady Luck rarely win.

Mutt was willing to sacrifice [Fundamental] for the possibility that it would hurt me. (20.12)

Mutt is a cutthroat competitor, maybe because he's competing against Sean more for honor and respect than for cash or fame. He'll sacrifice both horse and human to get to Sean.

I know I should let Mutt and Sweeter finish first. [...] It's not even a contest. (25.27, 25.30)

Sean isn't above a little immature show of strength against Mutt, either. He refuses to let his ego get trampled even though they're just showing off some ponies for potential buyers.

"Me on the mare, you on Dove?" (26.41)

We're not sure if Sean races Puck and Dove because he wants the easy ego boost, or if he wants to show Puck how futile it is for her to even try to win.

There's no thrill to this race. No pleasure in such an easy victory. (26.61)

Sean's competitive nature does have an honorable side. He's not one to relish the easy victory, so he must have challenged Puck to a race for her own good, not for his own glory.

For the first time, winning doesn't seem like enough. (30.23)

By the halfway point of the novel, Sean is competing for something other than the Scorpio Race purse: he's competing for Corr's freedom, and for his own.

The beach is not as crowded as I had expected. It's between two of the smaller races, and only the capaill usice who are entered in the next races are on the beach. (60.1)

Okay, it's been sixty chapters but we finally have a quote about the races themselves. For a while there, we didn't think they were going to happen. It seems they're kind of like the Olympics, or a bloodier Wimbledon, with smaller matches early in the day and the big attraction at night.