Back in October, I threw myself into this brilliant dual-narrative fiction, The Firebird by one of my all-time-favourite authors of this genre: Susanna Kearsley. I picked this up hoping to escape this crazy world into another of her wonderful sweeping, romantic and suspenseful tales, especially as other Kearsley fans rate this one so highly!
And I wasn’t to be disappointed by this book, only by my painfully slow reading pace! 😅 When my poor, tired, over-worked brain was able to focus, I discovered an enchanting tale. It all begins with Nicola Marter, a woman born with a special gift: when she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses into the past to those who have owned it before, but she has been brought up to fear and hide this gift from the world by her beloved grandfather; who was experimented on by the Soviets in their native home of Russia.
Then one day, a woman arrives with a small wooden carving of a bird at the London gallery Nicola works at, hoping that it might be of some value, as she believes it was once owned by Russia’s Empress Catherine. Sadly without any providence Nicola’s boss believes it is worthless, but when Nicola touches it she is given a vivid vision that shows her that the woman’s claims are true. Now Nicola faces a dilemma: how to help this poor woman without given away her unusual gift to her boss?!
With her sympathy piqued and her conscience pricked, Nicola is forced to turn to the only person she feels can help: her old-flame, Rob McMorran, whose psychic gifts are far greater than her own. Together they are able to pick up on the life of a young, 18th century girl, named Anna. Following her thread leads them on a quest from Scotland to Russia. Where they unearth a wondrous tale of love and sacrifice, courage and redemption; set against the backdrop of the dangerous Jacobite rebellion and the then glittering Russian capital of St Petersburg.
Kearsley has again worked her literary magic in this book: weaving together two wonderful, gripping narratives beautifully and making me love both equally. It helps of course that both Nicola and Anna are interesting, strong female protagonists to read about, but I also loved being reunited with the fascinating Rob. I met Robbie as a wee laddie in Kearsley’s earlier novel, The Shadowy Horses and now he is a big, strapping, handsome chap! 😉Anna is another character that crosses over in Kearsley’s work, as she appears in The Winter Sea, so I look forward to reading more about her in that.
So overall, while I found myself reading slower than I would have liked, The Firebird was a great, sweeping book, that helped me escape my frustrating self-isolation (after a positive case at work). As always I can’t wait to read more by the extremely talented Susanna Kearsley and it just so happens I have her A Desperate Fortune ready to-be-read on my Kindle. Hopefully I will get to it soon! Great read.⭐⭐⭐
Now I’d love to hear from you: Have you read this? Or have read anything else by Susanna Kearsley? Have you been doing any spooky reading?
I read this book as part of the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XV reading event. It is also book #8 for my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2020 and ticks off my ‘one of the 4 natural elements (water, air, fire, earth)’ category for my What’s in a Name 2020.