Series Name: Slains, # 3

Review By Veronica

The Vanished Days is a rich and captivating story set in the Highlands.

Favourite Quote:

“There are many who believe they know what happened, but they do not know the whole of it. The rumours spread, and grow, and take their hold, and so to end them I have been persuaded now to take my pen in hand and tell the story as it should be told-both in the parts that are my own and I those pieces that were hers, as they were told to me by other and as I came to discover them.”

Goodreads Synopsis: 

In the autumn of 1707, old enemies from the Highlands to the Borders are finding common ground as they join to protest the new Union with England. At the same time, the French are preparing to launch an invasion to bring the young exiled Jacobite king back to Scotland to reclaim his throne, and in Edinburgh the streets are filled with discontent and danger.

Queen Anne’s commissioners, seeking to calm the situation, have begun paying out money sent up from London to settle the losses and wages owed to those Scots who took part in the disastrous Darien expedition eight years earlier–an ill-fated venture that left Scotland all but bankrupt.

When the young widow of a Darien sailor comes forward to collect her husband’s wages, her claim is challenged. One of the men assigned to investigate has only days to decide if she’s honest, or if his own feelings are blinding him to the truth.

This is the third book in the Slains series. This book can be read as a stand-alone. There are connections to the previous two books, but readers will still be able to understand and follow along with the story without reading books one and two. The Vanished Days is rich in historical detail. You can tell that Susanna did her research for this book because all the period details are spot on. The Vanished Days occurs during the Jacobean era and jumps between two timelines. One timeline follows Adam Williamson, who is in charge of verifying Lily Aitcheson’s claim that she was married to a man who died at sea. The other timeline follows Lily’s life. Susanna did a great job shifting between these two timelines cohesively, and the story just flowed beautifully. I preferred Lily’s timeline because I found it really interesting to see how she grew up in this turmoil in Scotland. 

The pace of this story is on the slower side. There isn’t a lot of fast-paced action in this book. It does pick up near the end, and Susanna throws a few twists and turns that will have you on the edge of your seat. But if you are looking for something that has more action, you may want to read a different book. The Vanished Days is an excellent book for readers who love to read historical fiction but don’t want a whole bunch of romance in the story.  

This period’s political and religious aspects are complex, evident in this book. I am not incredibly familiar with the history of Scotland during this time. I felt a little overwhelmed with historical details, and it was hard to keep track of everything. 

The Vanished Days is a captivating and vibrant historical read.

Thank you, Simon and Schuster Canada for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.