The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

January 25th, 2017 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 46 Comments

25th Jan
The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley
The Shadowy Horses
by Susanna Kearsley
Narrator: Sally Armstrong
Length: 12 hours and 1 minute
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame
Narration: 4

A brooding and atmospheric Scottish tale from a RITA and RT Reviewers Choice Award-winning and New York Times and USA Today best-selling author.

The invincible ninth Roman Legion marches from York to fight the Northern tribes, and then vanishes from the pages of history. When Verity Grey goes looking for them, she may find more than she bargained for.

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 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.

Here on the windswept shores, Verity may find the answer to one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time. Or she may uncover secrets someone buried for a reason.

Today, I have Sophia Rose on the blog to share her review of the audiobook The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley. This tale is a romantic suspense and is narrated by Sally Armstrong. Grab a cup of cocoa and find out Sophia’s thoughts on this standalone listen.

Guest Review from Sophia Rose

A Roman Legion that disappeared in history, an intrepid and varied group on an archaeological dig, and a shadowy soldier from the past form the grounds for a captivating tale.

The Shadowy Horses sets up steady, but sure. The reader is introduced to the characters, the setting, and the situation at the same time as the main character, Verity Grey. Verity is a solid thinker and sensible though she has a developed sense of humor. I enjoyed having her tell the story as she observes nuances well. She doesn’t easily believe in little Robbie’s psychic gift or that there is a ghostly Roman legionnaire, but she does sense the atmosphere around her.

The minute I knew this was a suspense set up around a historical mystery and archaeological dig in Scotland; I had to read it. Kearsley is already a favorite author, and I was confident she would deliver on my expectation. The Shadowy Horses had a slow build suspense with romantic elements. It seems to go along with daily life around Rosehill, the dig, and the local village, but always it reveals the puzzle pieces that Verity and the reader catch and work out how they fit. This one is a sleeper and will not leap out and grab the reader, but gently tug them closer.

There is a large cast of characters surrounding Verity, and I enjoyed that some are sources of knowledge while others catch her attention for other reasons. Instead of the presence of her ex-boyfriend adding drama, I found Adrian quite entertaining. Now, David, her romance interest was a great guy and an absolute rock for everyone around him. He is an archaeologist and can get wrapped up in his work, but he has a lovely Scottish sense of humor and temperament. He is at the center of things without drawing attention to himself, and he doesn’t rush things or push Verity when she needs to make up her own mind about things.

I had my suspicions about matters when it came to the mystery, and I was right, but there were some unexpected twists that led to the exciting climax scene. The psychic and paranormal elements were a nice touch that gave this story a bit of extra magic without overtaking the story itself.

This was my first encounter with audioΒ narrator, Sally Armstrong. Loved her Scottish, Irish, and English accents along with her command of this large cast of characters. She had a good sense of the author’s writing and the tone of the story.

All in all, The Shadowy Horses was fantastic. Those who enjoy a lighter romantic suspense with engaging characters and an intriguing, atmospheric setting should give this one a try.


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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

46 Responses to “The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley”

  1. Lark

    I picked this up when it went on sale for Kindle, based on Kearsley’s name alone. I had no idea it dealt with the missing Legion! It sounds like I really need to bump this up in my “older books” TBR queue. Good review; you’ve made me even more interested in reading this book!

  2. Lily B

    this too has been on my radar a really long time, it’s great to hear you loved it so much Sophia, I love the sound of the town and the fact that it has a setting in Scotland makes me happy

  3. Michele

    This definitely sounds intriguing, and you sold me with the paranormal elements mention. I will have to give this a try. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Sophia Rose πŸ˜€

    • Sophia Rose

      Oh yes, the Roman ghost and the little psychic boy are a nice little add in to an already good story. Hope you like it when you get the chance, Michele.

  4. Bookworm Brandee

    This sounds like a great read, Sophie. I’ve not read Kearsley before or listened to Sally Armstrong. But if you approve of her accents, I think I’ll give this a listen. I like the setup and premise and I’m curious about the dig, the mystery, and of course, the romance. πŸ˜‰ Lovely review!

    • Sophia Rose

      I think you’re in for a pleasant time, Brandee. Kearsley’s writing and Sally’s storytelling are an audio book gem. πŸ™‚ Hope you get the chance soon.

    • Sophia Rose

      Same here. I can be easy going if they don’t get it exactly right, but it’s so distracting if they are too far off.

  5. Katherine

    This book sounds irresistible! I love the ghost, the setting and the archaeology angle. Will definitely have to look for this on audio!

    • Sophia Rose

      Buaha- erm, no shouldn’t laugh since that is sooo me, too. I can’t tell you how many times I already have the book that I’m getting all excited about from someone’s review or chat-up.

      Yay, fellow fangirls!

  6. Heidi

    I have been meaning to try this author forever. I think I even have one of her books. Anyway, This one sounds terrific. I will have to give it a try. Thanks, Sophia Rose.

  7. Maureen Beatrice

    I haven’t read anything by this author before. But this book sounds great and very mysterious. How awesome that the narrators accents where so good. I love it when an narrator is able to change accents and voices so easily.
    Great review!

    • Sophia Rose

      Glad to introduce you to a new to you author, Maureen. πŸ™‚ Yes, it has a lovely mysterious tone to it.

      I agree that it’s neat to find a narrator who does accents well.

  8. Tracy Terry

    Loving the cover of what sounds like a book I’d enjoy … only in print instead of audio.

    Thanks for a great review Sophia Rose

    • Sophia Rose

      I love the Sourcebooks covers for this author’s books, too, Tracy. Yes, hope you can give the story a chance and I’m sure the print edition is already out.

  9. Ethan

    Fantastic Review! I agree that a great narrator can make or break our perception of an audiobook.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, exactly, Ethan. I’m not real picky about narrators, but even then there are a few that I thought a bad match for the book just like there are so many that make a book absolutely shine.

    • Sophia Rose

      I read one of Stephanie’s reviews a couple years ago and decided that I had to give Susanna Kearsley a go. So glad I did.

  10. kindlemom1

    I love this author! I’ve read two of her books and couldn’t get enough of them. I have yet to read this one but I do have it on my kindle. Glad to hear it is a good one.

    • Sophia Rose

      This was my third book from her list and I just read a fourth. I can’t believe I waited so long to try her stuff. Hope you enjoy this one when you get the chance, Kindlemom!

  11. Vanessa

    Ohh, I love Suspense with Romance! Haven’t read from the author before but I think this one is going to be my first πŸ™‚

  12. Kristin

    This sounds like my kind of suspense because it has a teeny tiny touch of paranormal and you said it was good for noobies to suspense like me. I liked that the old boyfriend and the new boyfriend didn’t get in the way of the story either. Awesome review, Sophia!!! Man, my reviews suck compared to your writing πŸ™ I’ve got to up my game!!! πŸ˜€

    • Sophia Rose

      Your reviews are just as tempting, lady. I blame you for a couple books that put a dent in my book budget. πŸ™‚

      Oh yes, this one would be a fantastic choice if you’re just dipping your toe into suspense and yes, just a bit of paranormal spice to make it interesting. The ex and the new guy thing had me nervous at first b/c I’m not a triangle trope type, but it was not really a factor in the romance.

  13. Geybie's Book Blog

    I’ve never read any of this author’s books before. I love reading reviews from the authors that are new to me, just in case I find a ‘new gold’, and I’m in the mood for paranormal romance… so… I think I need to stalk this author (Her books I mean). πŸ˜‰

  14. Christy LoveOfBooks

    So it does have a touch of paranormal? I haven’t read any of her books, but it does sound pretty good. I’m wondering if it’s in the same category as the Graveyard Queen series.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, but I think it is a lot milder than what you get in the Graveyard Queen series. I think GQ goes darker while this one it’s a soft touch. Hope that helps, Christy.

    • Sophia Rose

      Yes, she has a gift for how her stories piece together. I’m slowly working through her backlist and newer releases.