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The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

The Shadowy Horses (original 1997; edition 2012)

by Susanna Kearsley

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487None21,009 (3.99)48
Title:The Shadowy Horses
Authors:Susanna Kearsley
Info:Sourcebooks Landmark (2012), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Gothic, mystery, contemporary fiction, fantasy, ghosts

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The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley (1997)




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Another great paranormal historical romance by Susanna Kearsley. A well-constructed plot, interesting characters, good history, and good romance made for a perfect travel book. ( )
  sbsolter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Verity Grey is a young archaeologist who has recently quit her job at the British Museum and is looking for freelance work. Her former colleague (and ex-boyfriend) Adrian tells her about a potential job in the coastal town of Eyemouth, Scotland, but he is vague about the details. Nevertheless, Verity is intrigued enough to travel to Eyemouth for an interview. There she learns that the head of the expedition, wealthy archaeologist Peter Quinnell, is hoping to find traces of the Ninth Roman Legion, which appeared in Britain in the second century A.D. and then vanished from history. Verity is excited to be part of such a potentially major find -- until she learns that Quinnell has no tangible evidence that the Ninth ever passed through Eyemouth. Rather, he is basing his expedition on the word of an eight-year-old boy who is said to have the second sight. Verity is extremely skeptical at first; but the longer she spends in Eyemouth, the more she becomes convinced that something supernatural is at work.

I was surprised to discover that, unlike many of Susanna Kearsley's other novels, this book is not a work of historical fiction; all the action takes place in the present day. Aside from that, however, The Shadowy Horses definitely has a similar feel to Kearsley's other books. There is a young, intellectual heroine who is fascinated by history; a story in the present that closely parallels a story in the past; various supernatural elements (in this case, a ghost!); and a romance. These are all things that generally appeal to me in books, but once again, I found myself unable to get emotionally involved with this novel. There is just something about Kearsley's writing that keeps me at a distance; though her books (including this one) are very readable, I'm never on the edge of my seat, dying to know what will happen next. A lack of dramatic tension, perhaps? Anyway, I did enjoy this book -- the bits about archaeology were especially fascinating, though probably a bit outdated now -- but it wasn't anything more than a pleasant read for me.
  christina_reads | Jan 30, 2014 |
An archeological dig for a lost Roman legion near the tiny fishing village of Eyemouth, Scotland, this is a contemporary romance complete with ghosts, smugglers and family drama. Verity Grey, the "finds" manager for the dig finds herself with a ghostly admirer, as well as one of the more corporeal sort, lucky her.

I picked this up because several reviewers indicated a writing style similar to Mary Stewart and Barbara Michaels. For me, at least in this book, Kearsley's style is evocative of both those authors, but lacks a certain something... suspense, perhaps? The sense of impending doom that characterizes both Stewart and Michael's romances is absent here. Not to mention, Kearsley's hero is far more likeable and less domineering than either Stewart or Michaels' men ever dreamed of being.

Still, an enjoyable read and an author whose work I wouldn't balk at exploring further. ( )
  SunnySD | Jan 1, 2014 |
Verity Grey is thrilled by the challenge of uncovering an ancient Roman campsite in a small Scottish village. But as soon as she arrives, she sense danger in the air. Her eccentric boss, Peter Quinnell, has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Legion and is convinced he's finally found it - not because of any scientific evidence, but because a local boy has 'seen' a Roman soldier walking in the fields, a ghostly sentinel who guards the bodies of his long-dead comrades. Surprisingly, Verity believes in Peter, and the boy, and even in the Sentinel, who seems determined to become her own protector...but from what?

My Thoughts:

This is the second book by Susanna Kearsley that I have read, the first being ‘The Rose Garden’. I have to say that her work is growing on me very much.

The Rose Garden dealt with time travel where this book had a ghostly theme running through it. I wouldn’t however say that the book was a creepy hidey seeky ghost story just a friendly presence. There is also a romance between Verity and the very dashing but rugged Davy which could be seen right from the first time they met.

There is also a bit of a thriller near the end of the book which I did feel came out of nowhere. I was reading the book and wondered where it was going to go as I hadn’t got many pages left then out pops a bit if a thrill towards the end of the book.

The story itself was OK and at times I did feel that it needed perhaps a bit more to it but it dosen’t matter to much as the book was pleasant to read and I have to say I quite enjoyed it. I did feel at times the book was a little sugary but it just adds to the niceness of the book. Sometimes it makes a change to read a story that dosen’t have multiple body counts.

A worthy 4 stars. ( )
  tina1969 | Jan 1, 2014 |
My first read by Susanna Kearsley did not disappoint. Even with a paper deadline looming over my head, I couldn't put this book down. Maybe it has something to do with my love for England, Scotland, and Ireland, but I immensely enjoyed the book and look forward to reading anything else by Ms. Kearsley that I can get my hands on. ( )
  Oceanwings07 | Nov 24, 2013 |
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I hear the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake,
Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white...
O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream endless Desire,
the Horses of Disaster Plunge in the heavy clay;
Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast
Drowning love's lonely hour in deep twilight of rest
and hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet

W B Yeats
He Bids His Beloved Be At Peace
To the people of Eyemouth: So many of you have had a hand in the creation of this book, and I have spent so many hours in your company that now your streets, your homes, your harbour have a warm familiar feel, and I no longer feel a stranger to your town. But I do not belong to Eyemouth. Despite my best efforts I'm sure there will be places in this book where you will find I've got some detail wrong, or used a turn of phrase that's not your own. I can only hope that you'll forgive me any errors. And I hope that you will all accept this novel as a gift of thanks, from one to whom you've always shown great kindness.
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The bus had no business stopping where it did.
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Book description
With its dark legends and passionate history, the windswept shores of Scotland were an archaeologist's dream. Verity Grey was thrilled by the challenge of uncovering an ancient Roman campsite in a small Scottish village. But as soon as she arrived, she felt danger in the air, and in the icy reserve of archaeologist David Fortune, and in the haunted eyes of the little boy who spoke of visions of a slain Roman sentinel.
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The dark legends of Scotland were an archaeologist's dream. Verity Grey was thrilled to be at a dig for an ancient Roman camp in the Scottish village. But danger was in the air--in the icy reserve of archeologist David Fortune. In the haunted eyes to the little boy who had visions of a slain Roman sentinel. And in the unearthly sound of the ghostly Shadowy Horses, who carried men away to the land of the dead.… (more)

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