The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley is the She Reads selection for July and what a great book to start the month off with! I have only had the pleasure of reading one of Susanna’s books and that was The Shadowy Horses and I was thrilled to discover a character from that book as a main character in this one. In The Firebird Susanna Kearsley seamlessly weaves history and fiction together to build a captivating tale sure to please readers!
The Firebird takes us on two journeys, one in the present and one in the past and in both there is love to be found. In the present we have Nicola who has a gift but it’s a gift she hides from others because she desperately doesn’t want to be different. Nicola can touch objects and see into the past into the lives of those who have previously owned the item. Nicola is living her normal life working for an art dealer when a lady comes into the art gallery with a carving she calls the Firebird that she claims is quite old having been in her family for many, many years. She needs money but unfortunately there is no way to determine how old this piece is or if it’s even worth anything. That is until Nicola holds the item in her hands and is transported back to a time in history that Nicola knows would prove this item authentic. Yet it’s not like she can tell her boss how she knows this item is the real thing, but feeling sorry for this woman Nicola sets out to prove just that along with an old love Rob McMorran who also has gifts of his own. Through the gifts that both Nicola and Rob possess they are able to see back in time where we meet Anna. They follow her from Scotland to Russia in an attempt to solve the mystery of the Firebird. As we go back in forth in time the story continues to build and you simply can’t wait to see how it will all come together in the final pages.
One thing I’ve learned about Susanna Kearsley already is that she is a fantastic writer who weaves beautiful stories. I love that The Firebird was based on mainly real life characters from history and that her fictional characters are such that you feel a connection with and care about. I really liked Nicola both for her struggles with wanting to be ‘normal’ and for being kind enough to want to help someone she didn’t even know. Rob was a fantastic character as well and it was interesting to see him all grown up in this novel. I like how he was proud of who he was no matter what others thought and also how sweet he was in loving Nicola. Anna was a great character as well being outspoken for a girl from the 1700’s. Normally in books where the past and present come together I find I like one story more than the other but in this one both were equally interesting and I really enjoyed them.
If you’re looking for a great historical novel to curl up with The Firebird is a great pick. Susanna Kearsley is fast becoming a favorite author of mine and lucky for me I’ve got a few of her books on audio to enjoy soon!
Source: Review copy provided by Sourcebooks via NetGalley. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.