Monday, October 4, 2010

The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

"With its dark legends and passionate history, the windswept shores of Scotland are an archaeologist's dream. Verity Grey is thrilled by the challenge of uncovering an ancient Roman campsite in a small village. But as soon as she arrives, she can sense danger in the air.

Her eccentric boss, Peter Quinnell, 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. Surprisingly, Verity believes in Peter, and the boy, and even in the Sentinel, who seems determined to become her own protector....but from what?"
(from the publisher)

my thoughts:

Another enjoyable tale from Canadian author Susanna Kearsley...I really enjoyed her romantic suspense novel, Mariana, which was very reminiscent of the style of Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt, only Kearsley includes of touch of the paranormal.
Her heroines are intelligent, sensible, professional young women who refrain from foolishly rushing headlong into obviously dangerous situations -- how refreshing!

Although the revelation of the villain was a bit rushed and anticlimatic, I still enjoyed the dream-like quality of her writing and she kept me turning the pages, immersed in ancient history, prophesy, and a sentinel ghost who desperately wants to communicate with the living and make amends for the past.

The story is based on the Yeat's beautiful and haunting poem, "He Bids His Beloved Be at Peace" --

I hear the Shadowy Horses, their long manes a-shake
Their hoofs heavy with tumult, their eyes glimmering white....
O vanity of Sleep, Hope, Dream, endless Desire,
The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay.
Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast,
Drowning love's lovely hour in deep twilight of rest,
And hiding their tossing manes and their tumultuous feet.

A perfect read for a long, quiet rainy day!

3.5/5 stars

Title: The Shadowy Horses
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Allison & Busby Limited
407 pages
genre: romantic suspense


Anonymous said...

A kindred spirit in blog land. I like a lot of the authors that you like - Deanna Raybourn, Jane Austen, Tasha Alexander, Lauren Willig, Anne Perry.

What a treat to find your blog!

Joanne said...

Thank you so much for visiting, Amisha!

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When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
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