Study Guide

The Scorpio Races Fear

By Maggie Stiefvater


A regular seahorse is about as cute and cuddly as an underwater creature can be. (Moray eel… not even close.) The capaill uisce, however, though they might be horses and they might be from the sea, are definitely not seahorses. They're the scariest things to come out of the water since Jaws grew legs and came onto land. (Didn't that happen in, like, Jaws 17?)

Most stories with animals are heartwarming tales about a boy or girl bonding with their dog/horse/armadillo. What is unique about The Scorpio Races is the heaping dose of pure fear Stiefvater piles onto the story. It's a rare moment indeed when a character isn't fearing for their own life or the life of a loved one. The constant fear makes the peaceful moments all the sweeter… but it also shows us how people learn to harness their fear and use it to achieve their goals.

Questions About Fear

  1. What do Puck and Sean fear?
  2. How does Finn cope with his many fears?
  3. Is Gabe leaving the island because of fear, or for another reason?
  4. Dove fears the capaill (for good reason). Do the capaill fear anything?

Chew on This

While most people fear the capaill, Sean shows great compassion by being afraid for them. He'll do anything to keep them from getting hurt.

The men don't want Puck to enter the Scorpio Races because they're afraid… afraid they're going to get beaten by a woman.

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