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Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley

From Goodreads:

The Invincible Ninth Roman Legion Marches from York to Fight The Northern Tribes. and then Vanishes from the Pages of History.

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.

This book had some of my favorite elements, Archaeology, ancient history, a ghost, local folklore, I really enjoyed it. This is my first read by Kearsley though I have considered a few of them several times and I'm glad I finally tried one! I chose this book as one of my three for the My TBR meme because we're doing an animal challenge in my Goodreads group, so of course it fits with Horses in the title. What I thought was funny is that one of the other books I picked out, before I had ever read the backs of them, was The Eagle of the Ninth, which is about, you guessed it, the same missing legion they are hoping to find in The Shadowy Horses!  I'm definitely looking forward to reading that one as well later on and seeing this story from a different perspective, as it takes place very near the time of the disappearance rather than nearly 2,000 years later.

I enjoyed the character building and interaction, they are all very distinct in personality.  Robbie, Kip and the ghost, loved them!  Also the archaeology detail, which is general enough not to bog down someone not familiar with a dig, while still giving us a variety of different tasks that would take place, the mapping/surveying, cataloging and cleaning of finds, the sifting of dirt to find tiny items and pieces of pottery, etc.  We also get to see a little bit of life in the village, have some romance, and even fall victim to some sabotage!  

This was an atmospheric and interesting mystery.  I especially like a mystery that isn't about a current murder, so that was another point in it's favor.  I'm looking forward to more from this author!

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