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The Shadowy Horses

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  8,136 ratings  ·  1,050 reviews

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.

Her eccentric boss has spent his whole life searching for the resting place of the lost Ninth Roman Le
ebook, 432 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Sourcebooks, Incorporated (first published January 1st 1997)
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I really didn't like this story from Susanna Kearsley. This is the fourth novel by her that I've read and there is definitely a formula she follows. Sometimes the formula works for me and sometimes it doesn't.

I did like the setting of the archeological dig and the insertion of the Roman history that went with describing what the archeologists were looking for and discovering. I also liked the many references to the Scots language and traditions.

What I didn't care for was the romantic story line
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On Ageless Pages Reviews!

A thoroughly satisfying mix of history, the paranormal, with a dash of romance to flavor, The Shadowy Horses does not disappoint. A bit more romance-orientated than my previous read by this author (Mariana), I can still easily endorse Susanna Kearsley as fast becoming one of my favorite authors; one that is adept at creating a wide array of individual characters, as well as intricately setting up an atmospheric read. She delivers every
- Sarah's Reading Guide for The Shadowy Horses -

(1) Open google.
(2) Load a picture of dry toast. Example:

(3) Stare at toast for 3 minutes.
(4) Leave the room. Trim your toenails.
(5) Return to the computer. Stare at toast for another 3 minutes.
(6) Close picture.

Congrats! You've successfully duplicated the Shadowy Horses experience. Be proud -- you've saved yourself untold pain by not bothering with the tepid characters, bland plot, excruciating infodumps, cutesy humor, & nauseating romance of
Mar 29, 2012 Stacey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Elizabeth Peters, MIchael Crichton's Timeline, Elizabeth Lowell
This novel went way beyond my expectations, into "truly delightful" territory. I had expected something a little less fiction and a little more fluffy (Kind of like Elizabeth Lowell, who writes stories involving art history, book history, studies of artifacts, etc. - but whose writing is not nearly as good).

This novel has a perfect mix of history, romance, and mystery.

The plot begins immediately, with an archaeologist re-tracing her route on a bus after managing to sleep through her train stop.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
I won this book in a contest hosted by Reading Between the Wines and Sourcebooks.


Shadowy Horses is centered around Eyemouth, which is an actual fishing port located in south-east Scotland. The story references actual places and events including The Ship Hotel, the fish auctions and the Herring Queen Festival. While it hasn't actually been verified that Eyemouth is the last resting place of the Ninth Roman Legion, this is what the fictional character Verity Gray is drawn
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
**4.5 stars**

I would have stayed up all night last night to finish this book if my daughter didn't wake up and call for me. It was one of those books where you say to yourself "I'll just finish this one chapter" and do that over and over again until you look up and 2 hours has gone by.

I always love Susanna Kearsley's writing and this book was no exception. Her prose just envelops me and drags me deep into the plot to the point where the world around me grows murky. I get sucked into these beaut
When Verity Grey arrives in Eyemouth, Scotland, for an archaeological dig, she doesn't know exactly what to expect. When she meets eccentric Peter Quinnell, who's financing the dig, she's intrigued by his theory that he's found the lost Ninth Legion of Rome. However, Quinnell isn't working off solely archaeological evidence; there's a Roman ghost, and a small boy who can speak to him.

I thought the style started out a little overly descriptive (I could feel myself skimming a little in the early
"You've only got one chance to get it right."

I am not sure which is my favorite book from Kearsley. Each one is unique in their own way, but I can always count on the budding romances, the suspenseful scenes, the harrowing twists, and a dab of supernatural occurrences that are a penchant in all of her wonderful novels.

The Shadowy Horses is based in Scotland, about an archeologist who is invited to join an excavation to find the long lost fleet of the Legio Nona Hispana (Ninth Spanish Legion), da
What can I say, I think Susanna Kearsley could write the back of a cereal box and I'd think it was marvelous, lol. There's just something about her writing style that I truely love, she's one of my favorite authors. The Shadowy Horses was no exception, the setting was modern day Scotland with our main character Verity Grey an archaeologist accepting a job to help find the truth as to whether the lost Ninth Roman Legion is buried in a rocky field by the sea. This story has everything, a charming ...more
Carol Kerry-green
Another excellent novel from Susanna Kearsley. Verity Grey is a Finds Supervisor, who works on archaelogical digs in various parts of the country. She has a job opportunity in Scotland near the village of Eyemouth in Berwickshire. Peter Quinnell an eccentric researcher into the lost Roman Ninth Legion, is settled at Rosehill a house just outside Eyemouth and is searching in the field at the house for a Roman Marching Camp, which he is convinced belonged to the Ninth. There is no evidence for thi ...more
I know there are quite a few Susanna Kearsley fans out there...and I am one of them! Not only is she a fantastic writer but she is a fellow Canadian - its great to support a talented writer from your own country. A Susanna Kearsley book always reemphasizes for me why I love reading and why quality writing always wins out over filler and flash. Instead of focusing this post on reviewing The Shadowy Horses though, I am going to discuss more why I love Susanna Kearsley and highly recommend this aut ...more
What I liked:
- the archaeology and Roman history lessons,
- the main premise,
- the setting,
- Wally, Jeannie's dad.

Ha, no, really, I did like most of the secondary characters - even the annoying ones. I enjoy reading Kearsley's books - though they tend to be populated with similar characters, it's fun to see them in slightly different positions this time around.

What I didn't like:
- The 'sinister' plot. Why was that even in there? Made no sense and was just dumb, especially the big...finale?
4.5 stars

The Shadowy Horses was my first Susanna Kearsley even though I have The Winter Sea, Marianna and The Rose Garden sitting on my bookshelves *shamed face* lol

The Shadowy Horses is a beautiful blend of mystery, history and romance, throw in a ghost, and a boy with second sight and it's a match made in heaven.

I don't think I need to say much more, I recommend this one without hesitation and here's just a few reasons why I loved it -

- set in Eyemouth, Scotland ... the Scottish borders area o
Deliciously spooky. Complete with ghosts, an unnervingly psychic child, and the gorgeous highlander David Fortune, The Shadowy Horses is a spine tingly, hair raising good read. Verity Grey is invited to join an archaeology dig in a small coastal town in Scotland. Her employer, Peter Quinnell is sure he has found the last location of the mysterious Roman Nineth legion who lost from records, remain a source of great debate amongst historians. Thought to be mad, this find would validate Peters care ...more
Susanna Kearsley has really become one of my favorite authors, I have read many of her books and have very much enjoyed all of them. The Shadowy Horses is set in Scotland and Kearsley does a wonderful job of adding rich details to bring out the beauty of the land. The main character, Verity Grey, is intelligent and dedicated to her work and I enjoyed reading the book from her point of view.

There is some supernatural elements thrown in that added some tension to the story. A ghost, a Sentinal, w
Been meaning to try this author. Think I'll start here, since it's shorter than her other books and my friends liked it. Plus, I like the topic, the lore of the lost Roman legion.

Another bonus? This book is sold on Audible, and the excerpt sounds fine.
My first Susanna Kearsley, and definitely not my last - I was left wondering why I waited so long to read her. This was one of those quiet romances that somehow manages to be swooningly romantic at the same time - my favourite kind. I also really liked the archaeological details and the well-rounded secondary characters, plus I felt the touch of paranormal suited the story perfectly – and if you know me, I don’t often say that when the paranormal intrudes into my contemporary.
Christy B
Verity Grey arrives in Scotland to join in on an archaeological dig, one that she doesn't know all the details to until she arrives. Her employer, the eccentric old Peter Quinnell believes he has found the sight of the resting place of the Ninth Legion – a Roman legion who mysteriously disappeared around 177 A.D. The thing is, he doesn't have any kind of physical evidence. He's only going by what a local boy – who appears to have 'the sight'- has said. The boy has supposedly seen a Sentinel walk ...more
Diane Lynn
Really closer to 3.5 stars, but I'm not rounding up.

First line: The bus had no business stopping where it did.

Sometimes just a simple first line of a book is enough to draw me in, as was the case here.

Verity Grey moves to Eyemouth in Scotland to work on an archaeological dig. Eyemouth is in the Scottish Borders area. What a wonderful location for a book setting. Verity is in charge of the finds at the dig. She sifts the dirt to get at the important bits (pottery and what not) and then cleans, so
Rio (Lynne)
3.75 Stars

I enjoyed this book, even though it was slow moving. It had the makings of a great book...suspense, a Roman Sentinel, a kid (Robbie) who could see ghosts, a great setting (Scotland) and typical Kearsley characters, but there was something lacking.

Verity leaves London for a controversial dig in Scotland. Peter (the boss) knows that the mysterious Roman Legion 9 is in the backyard of his new home in Scotland. How does he know this? Because Robbie, a kid sees the ghost of the Sentinel w
3.75 stars

I'm getting a little addicted to Susanna Kearsley's stories about Scotland. If there was a little more romance in the love story I think it would be a 5 star book for me. As it is, still very interesting!
The Shadowy Horses, oddly enough, threw my preconceived notions regarding Kearsley's work right out of the window. After having read The Winter Sea, I expected Kearsley's prose, plot, and characterization to follow a similar pattern, but I found myself pleasantly surprised. While her writing style does, once again, transport readers into a rich, ethereal atmosphere, little else about The Shadowy Horses was similar to The Winter Sea. Yet, despite the fact that Kearsley lacks a formulaic approach, ...more
My faith in Susanna Kearsley is 100% restored!! Although I really did not like Season of Storms, and I wasn't too crazy about Marianna, The Shadowy Horses had just the right mix of accomplished heroine, supernatural intervention, triumph of the underdog and happy ever after to make this an excellent read.

Perhaps the drama in the final chapters was a bit too confusing and the foreshadow was a bit too subtle. As reader, I was not totally sure - even after the fact - of why who was where. That sai
Verity is an archeologist, taking a chance on a temporary position at a site in rural Scotland. Not knowing all the details up front, she soon realizes that she is on a hunt for ancient Roman artifacts - and that there is more to this search than can be explained by science. Trying to resolve what she sees with what she KNOWS, Verity's summer is even more complicated by the presence of one particular Scotsman, rounding out this story of history and slow-moving romance.

Turns out, I really like Su
Diana Leigh
This is the first book by Susanna Kearsley I've read, and it exceeded my expectations. I loved everything about this story. The author created the perfect Gothic atmosphere that pulled me in.

Verity Grey is an archaeologist hired for a dig in Eyemouth, a village on the east coast of Scotland. Her new boss has spent his life searching for clues about the fate of the Ninth Spanish Legion, a Roman legion who disappeared possibly in Britain during the early 2nd century. He's believes the answers to t
Oct 02, 2010 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kelly boyce
This is the third book I've read by Susanna Kearsley. I liked the Winter Sea - it's otherwordly romance was different, and I enjoyed the meandering pace of it. It even "got me" in the end. When I read Marianna, however, which was a good story, I felt like I had read it before. Perhaps when you use such a specific plot device as was evidenced in these two books, it can seem repetitive. So when I started on The Shadowy Horses, I was a little worried that I was going to be reading the same book yet ...more
Ana T.
I have had this book in the TBR pile for a while now. I added it because Ro enjoyed it a lot but ended up not reading it at the time. Last December Katharina challenged me to read Kearsley (while I challenged her to read Singh) and I am happy to report that we both found new authors to love.

The main character is an archeologist, that fact alone is enough for me to be interested but she is also a very likeable and sensible woman. Her name is Verity Grey and she is the character we get to know bet
I read this book because of the 9th Legion and Rosemary Sutcliff. It is mystery set in the lowlands of Scotland. A group of archaeologists are searching for evidence of the fate of the lost Roman Legion. There are gothic elements including a little boy with second sight and the role of the supernatural, weather and landscape in shaping events. The book is 15 years old now and is clearly an early work by an author with great potential. I found it a tad old fashioned even for the late 1990's and w ...more
This one is a bit difficult to shelf. It takes place in 1990 so it is before all our new technology. It is also about a dig to find the ninth Roman legion who had disappeared on a mission to the north of Britain. I thought it started out rather slow. The author takes time to build up her characters and one of them is ghost who walks and only speaks Latin. Then she has two with the second sight.
Reading this book you will also learn Scots!
Peter Quinnell has been searching all his life for the legi
I'm convinced Susanna Kearsley is magic. I loved this story with it's impending sense of doom set against highly practical descriptions of an archaeological dig. She even had me believing in the possibility of ghosts by the end. Although I must say some of the ending revelations were a bit rushed and not my favorite development, but otherwise this one hit the perfect note.

I'm glad I've decided to read her books slowly instead of rushing through, I need time to savor the goodness!

Recommended for
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Rosemary Sutcliff...: Another Author's Take on the Ninth Legion 2 2 Sep 27, 2014 05:58AM  
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Aka Emma Cole.

Susanna Kearsley studied politics and international development at university, and has worked as a museum curator.

Her first novel Mariana won the prestigious Catherine Cookson Literary Prize and launched her writing career. Susanna continued her mix of the historical and paranormal in novels The Splendour Falls, Named of the Dragon, Shadowy Horses and Season of Storms.

Susanna Kearsle
More about Susanna Kearsley...
The Winter Sea (Slains, #1) The Rose Garden Mariana The Firebird (Slains, #2) The Splendour Falls

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