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Shadowy Horses Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 780 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Impulse has brought Verity Grey to remote Eyemouth, Scotland from her home in England. Verity's friend and ex-lover Adrian Sutton-Clarke has tempted her with an archaeological mystery. What it is, exactly, he won't tell her until she gets to Eyemouth. By then, the impetuous museum worker is intrigued enough to stay. At the estate known as Rosehill, Verity meets her boss, Peter Quinnell. People say Peter is quite mad, but the eccentric old man believes he has found the site of the lost Ninth Legion of Rome. With the help of a young boy with second sight, Peter intends to unearth the remains of the Roman camp. Verity's job would be cataloguing and drawing the artifacts that are found- but she isn't convinced of the site's authenticity. While at Rosehill, Verity also meets David Fortune, an archaeologist working with Quinnell. What starts out as a working relationship builds into a romantic attraction as the two find themselves embroiled in a mystery that dates back to ancient Rome. Gothic romance isn't dead, it's just been sleeping. The Shadowy Horses has a gothic feel reminiscent of Mary Stewart. Ghosts and legends abound in this tale set in the rugged Scottish countryside. Ms. Kearsley recreates an archaeological dig with precision and detail, inviting the reader into a world that is unfamiliar and exciting. Ms. Kearsley's use of words to create setting will make readers feel like they've been to Scotland. Susanna Kearsley's The Shadowy Horses is marvelously written and a pleasure to read! A wonderful book to curl up with on a cold night. If you've never been to Scotland, let Susanna Kearsley take you there. You won't want to leave! Kristina Wright -- Copyright © 1999 Literary Times, Inc. All rights reserved -- From Literary Times

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and RITA award winner, Susanna Kearsley is known for her meticulous research and exotic settings from Russia to Italy to Cornwall, which not only entertain her readers but give her a great reason to travel. Her lush writing has been compared to Mary Stewart, Daphne Du Maurier, and Diana Gabaldon. She hit the bestseller lists in the U.S. with The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden, both RITA finalists and winners of RT Reviewers' Choice Awards. Other honors include finaling for the UK's Romantic Novel of the Year Award, National Readers' Choice Awards, and the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize. Her popular and critically-acclaimed books are available in translation in more than 20 countries and as audio books. She lives in Canada, near the shores of Lake Ontario. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Jove (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515124648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515124644
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (780 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,401,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Theresa E. DaKay on August 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Shadowy Horses" by Susanna Kearsley was my first book by this author, and the comparisons to Mary Stewart are wonderfully accurate. I am already ordering her other books...from me, the highest compliment. Ms. Kearsley writes in the first person, and manages to pull you right into the story, which is no small feat. Her writing style is fluid and descriptive, and she displays a talent for building suspense at just the right pace. Her characters (secondary as well) are well-drawn, likable, and interesting, and her quick-moving plot makes you want to keep turning the pages. One tiny, tiny criticism (but perhaps this is simply a result of my wanting the story to continue long after it was finished): her ending seemed rushed, and I wanted a bit more detail on the ghostly Sentinel and his tragic story, and that of the Ninth Legion...in another book, perhaps??? My final assessment: well done, Ms. Kearsley, well done!
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Format: Paperback
Then you must read this!!! The Shadowy Horses is, like the best of Mary Stewart, a blend of suspense, literature and romance, but without the dated 1960s feel of Mary Stewart's books. (Although I'm sure 30 years from now, readers will talk about the "dated 1990s feel" of Susanna Kearsley's books. Ha!)

The Shadowy Horses is set in a small town on the east coast of Scotland and is, as mentioned above, a blend of literature, romance and suspense. Kearsley's writing is masterful, as she manages to tell a modern tale of a haunted archaeology site without ever going over the top. At several points the characters actually attempt to communicate with the ghost of a Roman legionnaire, and not one time did I ever want to roll my eyes; quite a feat for a writer, in my opinion.

The weakest part of this book -- and the reason I am not giving it 5 stars -- is the suspense element. The suspense is so mild as to be almost non-existent. So if you're looking for a spine-tingling, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat type of book this is definitely not it.

The romance is low-key, also, which is fine with me. But again, if you're looking for a heart-stopping, blood-racing, titillating love scene you're not going to find it here. Nevertheless, the romance is there, as the heroine is faced with not just one but two admirers (three, if you count an eight-year-old boy), both drop-dead gorgeous (we should all be so lucky, huh?). And one of them -- I don't want to say who as that could be a spoiler -- did make my heart beat just a little bit faster. :)

Kearsley's greatest strength is in her dialogue. This is the aspect where many writers of fiction -- especially those writing in a contemporary setting -- lose me.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had a really bad day at work and I was exhausted and even playing with my three year old son couldn't completely close down my thoughts. Then, in the bath, I picked up The Shadowy Horses and got back into it (I'd started it the night before.) Honestly, I sighed OUTLOUD. It was complete escape. I recommend this book to fans of Mary Stewart or Barbara Michaels -- anyone looking for a really good gothic suspense.
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I'm not sure if I should thank Ms. Kearsley or be mad at her. I stayed up two nights in a row because I couldn't put her book down. The story was wonderful, and the characters were realistic. I have been looking for an alternative to Barbara Michaels' books, and I think Ms. Kearsley is it. My only suggestion to her would be-- write faster!
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I thought this was an excellent book. I love a good mystery. I also like a little of the supernatural. This had both and they blended well. There was also a romantic thread through it, which was refreshing, in not being explicit about sex. The Scottish atomosphere throughout the book was charming, and made it all the more interesting. There was just enough Scottich brogue in it to make you feel like you were right there with the characters. Overall, a great read and I would highly recommend it to all who wish to read a really good book. Plan on getting her two other books to read, and I will definitely be looking for future books by Susanna Kearsley.
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Format: Paperback
In the Shadowy Horses, Verity Grey is working on a dig in Scotland for an eccentric archaeologist, Peter Quinell, who has been looking for evidence of the missing ninth legion of an ancient Roman army for many years, with little success. Her ex-boyfriend, Adrian is also on the same project, as well as an attractive local scot, Davy. They have little proof that the excavation is going to turn up their desired finds, little support from the academic community, and ghostly presences to complicate things further....as well as Verity's own feelings for Davy.

This is an excellent, fast moving book that I was sorry to see end. The descriptions of life in a small Scottish coastal village were excellent and very true to life. The characters were colourful and likeable and it is not at all hard to picture them at the Ship Hotel with a pint or gathered around the kitchen having a hearty Scottish breakfast.

Pour a cup of tea and make plans to curl up for a day by the fire reading this book, you won't regret it.
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