Saturday, December 12, 2020

Book and Audio Review: The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

The Shadowy Horses

Susanna Kearsley
Narrator: Sally Armstrong
Publication: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 2, 2012)

Description: Archaeologist Verity Grey has been drawn to the dark legends of the Scottish Borderlands in search of the truth buried in a rocky field by the sea, in this darkly romantic novel of historical fiction by bestselling author Susanna Kearsley.

The invincible ninth Roman Legion marches from York to fight the Northern tribes, and then vanishes from the pages of history. When Verity Grey goes looking for them in modern-day Scotland, she may find more than she bargained for.

Her eccentric boss 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.

Here on the windswept Scottish shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of the historical record. Or she may uncover secrets from the romantic past that were buried for a reason.

My Thoughts: Archaeologist Verity Grey has come to the Scottish Borderlands for a possible job opportunity. Peter Quinnell is looking to hire someone to help with a dig. Quinnell has been searching for the lost Ninth Legion for most of his career. His obsession has made him something of an object of derision for other archaeologists. Verity was steered toward the job by an ex of hers who is also working on the dig. She also meets another archaeologist named David Fortune whose mother worked for Quinnell many years earlier.

She is skeptical about Quinnell's belief that this field by his house is the final place the Ninth was seen. She becomes even more skeptical when she learns that Quinell is basing his excavation on information given to him by a psychic eight-year-old named Robbie McMorran who has told Quinnell about a ghost called the Sentinel who watches over the field.

I liked all the archaeological detail in the story which is quite different than the romantic view of archaeology shown in movies. I also liked the whole idea of ghosts and that psychics like Robbie could communicate with them. Of course the story also has other things going on. Robbie's father is a smuggler who specializes in Russian vodka and cigarettes, is psychic himself, and very protective of his young son. There is also a plot hatched by Quinnell's granddaughter to get revenge for some imagined wrongs suffered by her father who recently committed suicide. I also really liked the romance plot that has Verity falling in love with David. 

This was a great audiobook. The narrator did an excellent job with all the various accents and the intriguing Scots vocabulary. Like Verity, I would need a Scots dictionary if I were to understand what all the characters were saying to each other. 

Favorite Quote:
"If you were chocolate," she told him, "you'd eat yourself." By which I gathered she was calling him conceited.
I bought the Kindle copy on Dec. 29, 2012 and the audiobook Oct. 6, 2020. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I've read every book I could get hold of by this author. Excellent reading.


I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!