Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
June 2013
Format: Ebook/Kindle or paperback 544 pages
Source: Publisher, Netgalley

About The Firebird from Sourcebooks:

Two Women.
One Mysterious Relic.
Separated By Centuries.
Nicola Marter was born with a gift so rare and dangerous, she kept it buried deep. When she encounters a desperate woman trying to sell a small wooden carving called "The Firebird," claiming it belonged to Russia's Empress Catherine, it's a problem. There's no proof.
But Nicola's held the object. She knows the woman is telling the truth.

The She Reads July Book Club Selection is The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley. This is my first month participating in the She Reads book club and what a great start it has been with the July selection of The Firebird. I had not read Susanna Kearsley's work before this, although I do have several books in my kindle library and a few on my bookshelf waiting to be read. The July book club pick gave me a chance to read my first book by Kearsley. I did know that The Firebird had characters from other books by Kearsley and that The Firebird is the second book in The Slains series with The Winter Sea being the first book. For me, this did not detract from the novel and it was easily read as a stand alone book. I loved her style of writing with authentic historical fiction and a touch of paranormal, romance and gothic added to the mix.

The Firebird weaves a story between past and present and takes the reader on a journey between current day and the 18th century Russian historical time period. I enjoyed how the author linked the present story line through the modern  story with Nicola and Rob who are old friends and have unresolved romantic feelings from the past and are connected by their psychometric abilities. They are able to learn about an objects past by touching it and then can visually travel back in time to learn more. This is how Nicola and Rob trace back in time the history and story behind the firebird. Nicola seeks out Rob, to help her find the truth behind the firebird and they also have to deal with their feelings for each other. In the past, historical part of the novel we learn about Anna and her story as she travels as a young girl with uncertain family ties through Scotland, Ireland and then to Russia. Anna and Rob follow her travels through these times in hopes of revealing the mystery surrounding the firebird. There were a few nice twists at the end of the book with Anna's part of the story. I had suspected them in the back of my mind but had pushed them away as unlikely. It was nice to see some parts of the story wrapped up and others left to the imagination. 

As a reader, I appreciated learning that The Firebird was based on real life characters that Kearsley had researched. I found this part of the book most interesting as at the end of the book, Kearsley writes about the real life characters and the historical connections written about in The Firebird. 

I would highly recommend The Firebird if you are looking for a historical fiction novel written with a beautiful story and strong characters. The Firebird will sweep you up in time, and as a reader, you will travel from past to present in settings such as England, Scotland, Ireland and Russia.  I definitely plan to read more of Kearsley's books and am fortunate to have several to choose from. 

You can read more about the author, read the first chapter and sample the audiobook of The Firebird on Susanna Kearsley's website

The July Book Club Selection & Giveaway from She Reads 
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

Make sure to check out the She Reads website and enter the giveaway  courtesy of Sourcebooks. They are giving away copies of The Firebird. One of the lucky winners will also win four other Susanna Kearsley novels.    Go to the She Reads website and leave a comment for your chance to win! 

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  1. I'm not much for historical fiction, so this probably isn't for me.

  2. That's a great review Bonnie. Like You I was impressed with the historical aspect and all of the research that went into this novel, but the romance and paranormal parts didn't impress me. That said, I would however, recommend this book to lovers of rich historical fiction. Welcome to She Reads!!

  3. I'm a big fan of historical fiction and have this on my kindle as well as audio. Guess you can tell I'm a big fan of Susanna Kearsley's books :) Nice review, Bonnie!

  4. Thanks for your great review. I read this book as well and enjoed it.

  5. Thanks for your great review. I read this book as well and enjoed it.

  6. This book has popped up on a lot of blogs this week. I'm still curious about it, but I love all the varied reviews.

  7. I'm reading my first Kearsley right now (not this one) and loving it.

  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did. I have The Winter Sea on audio and can't wait to have the time to listen to it.


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