Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: The Shadowy Horses

The Shadowy Horses
By Susanna Kearsley
Published: October 2, 2012 

My review:

Verity Grey accepts a job working with archaeologist Peter Quinnell in Scotland where he believes he has found evidence of the famed missing 9th Legion of Rome. Strange things start to happen at the house and dig site and Verity isn't sure what to make of Quinnell's belief in the psychic abilities of a local boy or what to think of David Fortune, a handsome Scotsman also working for Quinnell. 

First published in 1997, The Shadowy Horses is not quite a romance novel and not historical fiction though romance does play and important part and the story line features the history of the 9th Legion and early Britain. I have to admit that while I enjoyed the historical information and trying to figure out what was going on with the ghost it was the romance that kept my interest.  Though it was a slow building relationship, I loved seeing the developing romance between Verity and David. As a romantic hero, I found him to be appealing because he is intelligent, kind, and takes care of his mother in addition to being handsome. It is nice to see a decent guy as a love interest for a change! The secondary characters are charming too. One of my favorites was Peter Quinnell. He was a quirky character and he was something of a scene stealer.  

The setting was also fascinating to me. I liked learning about the village of Eyemouth . The details of village life and its history added to the story. The Scots dialect also added to the authenticity of the setting and lead to some nice moments between David and Verity. Something else that stood out to me was the time that the book takes place. It is supposed to be modern day but as the book was written in the 90s, the out of date technology references (and the idea that computers are a recent addition to the workplace environment) didn't bother me once I got used to it. It was interesting to think about the difference technology made in the field of archaeology. Finding out how archaeological digs were conducted was also really interesting.

There is a paranormal element to this story as there is in most of Susanna Kearsley's novels. In this case, there is a Roman ghost and a young village boy named Robbie who has visions and is able to see the ghost. I thought this part of the story worked and added a little suspense and a Gothic feel to the book. 

I do wish that there was more development of Verity's character and I thought the story resolved a little too quickly in the end but overall I thought this book was nearly as good as The Winter Sea. The pacing is not as fast and the story line is not a straight forward romance but I think this book might appeal to those who enjoy historical romance or historical fiction set in Scotland. Readers who are patient with the development of the story will find themselves well rewarded.

Note: I received an e-ARC for review purposes courtesy of NetGalley

1 comment:

  1. Just from your description, I adore David-yay for nice guys! I don't think this is quite the read for me at this moment because I want to be hooked immediately and would be too impatient but it's one for me to keep in mind. Thanks for the review :)


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