The Shadowy Horses – Review

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Title: The Shadowy Horses

Author: Susanna Kearsley

The mystery of the Ninth Legion of the Roman army has inspired several novels and a couple of films, too (Centurion, The Eagle). Stationed in Britain in the second century AD, the legion – more than 3,000 strong – marched north into Scotland and completely vanished, presumably wiped out by the Picts whom they were sent to defeat.  Some scholars believe that really was their fate; others believe the legion left Britain for other parts of the Roman Empire.  Regardless, it’s fun to speculate about what happened.

In The Shadowy Horses, archeologist Verity Grey has been hired onto a dig in Scotland. Her boss has spent his life chasing after the Ninth, and the academic community regards him as anything from an eccentric to a complete laughingstock. This time, though, he’s sure he’s found their remains. Why? Because a young local boy has “seen” a Roman soldier walking in the fields.

When I was a teen, I absolutely adored romantic suspense novels by Mary Stewart, Daphne DuMaurier, and Barbara Michaels. I’m happy to report that The Shadowy Horses provided the same wonderful reading experience.  Verity is a witty, capable heroine, and there’s no wishy-washy hand-wringing or angsting going on here. The setting is vividly rendered, and of course, there’s the delicious romantic tension.

The Shadowy Horses was written 15 years ago (how did I miss it back then?), but it is being rereleased along with several other romantic suspense novels by Susanna Kearsley. I’ll definitely be looking for the others.

–Lisa, Teen Librarian

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