The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley – Review

It’s been a while since I posted a review, but if you’ve read my February Wrap-Up then you know I had a strange reading month. I seem to be off to a good start in March so hopefully I’ll have more reviews up!  I started this month by reading The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley and I LOVED it!

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The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

  • US paperback – 421 pages.
  • Release date: 2nd of October 2014 (first published in 1997)
  • Published by Sourcebooks Landmark
  • ISBN: 1402258704
  • Goodreads page for The Shadowy Horses here!

This book begins with the main character Verity sitting on a bus in the pouring rain. I spend a lot of time doing that myself so I instantly began to love this book. It’s set in Eyemouth, a port town in the Scottish Borders, and I love the way Kearsley writes about Scotland. It is clear from the very first page that she did a lot of research before beginning this book!

The Shadowy Horses only has one POV and we follow Verity, an archaeologist, as she moves to Eyemouth to take part in an archaeological dig looking for the Ninth Roman Legion, which was never been discovered.The book also has a hand full of other characters, who are taking part in the dig, and it was great to get to know them all. I could have read another few hundred pages about everyone.

Where her book The Winter Sea featured ancestral memory, this book links to the past via a ghostly sentinel and an archaeological dig. I felt like I learned a lot about archaeologists and their field work whilst reading this book. It was pretty creepy at times with the ghostly goings on but not like a horror, it’s all very realistic.

This book is quite a slow burn, in terms of plot and romance, but I really enjoyed it. I love Kearsley’s descriptive writing style and she sets the scene so well. I love being outside in the wind and the rain, so I appreciate that she always takes time to describe the weather and the landscape. I think if you enjoy reading about Scotland then you wouldn’t mind the slow pace as it allows her to include so many details.

At the beginning of the book Kearsley dedicates it to the people of Eyemouth and thanks them. She mentions that she does not belong to Eyemouth, simply that she visited it to write about it and hopes she did it justice. It’s so refreshing to see a North American author writing about Scotland without scrambling to claim some part of it through a long lost ancestor.

I’d definitely recommend this book, especially to those new to Kearsley’s writing. It’s only 420 pages so a good place to start! You can also check out my spoiler-free review of her book The Winter Sea, which I read in 2016 and loved.


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget you can follow me on: InstagramTwitterTumblrGoodreads & Pinterest!

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3 thoughts on “The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley – Review

  1. I’ve read one of Kearsley’s, but was so disappointed, cause it was quite predictable and some things were hard to believe. It’s the one about this girl who travels back and forth in time, and stays in the past. I still have some others by her marked to-read, The Winter Sea among them.

    Have you read Kate Mosse’s books? Namely, The Labyrinth series. If you enjoy things like this (archaeology, links to the past) then you should absolutely love those ones. I know I did.

    1. I usually read fantasy so I don’t have a hard time believing things when I am reading more contemporary books. I hope just spoil the end of the book by saying what she does? haha. A lot of her books are quite similar, but it’s so rare to find good books written about Scotland so that’s why I love them. I’ll check out Mosse, thanks!

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