Sure we’ve all read about Freedom and Mockingjay but we likely have a book we wish would get more attention by book bloggers, whether it’s a forgotten classic or under marketed contemporary fiction. This is your chance to tell the community why they should consider reading this book!
When I first saw the theme for Thursday I was very excited. I could post my review of The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley again. Just because it would be third time on this blog, plus at least once at Historical Tapestry doesn't mean overkill does it? Then I thought for a few minutes more and realised that perhaps would be a bit better if I just left a link to my review of The Winter Sea - also known as Sophia's Secret in some places - because seriously people should read this book. It is going to be released in the US later this year, so there will be no excuses!
So instead I am going to review another book by Susanna Kearsley, The Shadowy Horses, and thanks to the generosity of Susanna Kearsley, I have a worldwide giveaway of two copies! To enter the giveaway please complete the form at the end of the review.
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?
Originally published in 1998, The Shadowy Horses has recently been re released in the UK by Allison & Busby. After first discovering Susanna Kearsley when I read and adored The Winter Sea, I promptly set out on a quest to read my way through her back list. I had read and thoroughly enjoyed Mariana and this was the next book I picked up.
When I started it, I was expecting something a little paranormal, most likely some time travel, a somewhat romantic storyline, and a darned good read. Whilst I did get most of these elements - this was more a ghost story than time travel - there was a also a suspense filled plot. Once again I was lost in the world that this author has created.
Verity Grey is an archaeologist who lives in London. She is looking for a change in her life, and so when she is invited to participate in a dig at a property on the Scottish coast, she is tempted by the offer. The only thing is that she isn't told very much about either the dig or her prospective boss when she heads up to the small fishing village of Eyemouth to take a look around at the invitation of her former boyfriend Adrian, who also works on the dig.
On the way to her destination she meets David Fortune, part time archaeologist and part time university lecturer, and a man who is very protective of Peter Quinlan, the man who would be Verity's boss. Quinlan's life long passion has been to find evidence to help solve the mystery of what happened to the lost Ninth Roman Legion. Within the archaeological world, Quinlan has a reputation of being somewhat eccentric, and to a degree is shunned, and that isn't likely to change given that his dig at the location is based purely on the experiences of a young boy, Robbie, who has 'the sight' and who believes that he can see the ghost of a legionnaire, known as the Sentinel.
Verity must work out if her boss is a little mad, or if maybe, just maybe, he has finally found what he has been working for all these years, find out what actually happened to the Sentinel, and work through her feelings for David, all the while knowing that someone is becoming increasingly desperate to stop the dig from going any further.
For all the archaeological focus of the novel, the author did a fantastic job of keeping the technical jargon accessible, but without dumbing it down too much.
Once again I opened up the pages of a Susanna Kearsley and found myself immersed in the world that she has created. I did ask her at one point if she could maybe create me a hero who works in Human Resources/Payroll, because all of her leading men so far have been very dreamy characters. Not sure how she is going with that request though!
This post is also my entry for the letter S in Historical Tapestry's Alphabet in Historical Fiction. I missed R, so I wanted to get in early for the next letter!