Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Firebird - Susanna Kearsley

Title: The Firebird
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Paperback: 530 pages (ARC version)
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Published date: June 4th, 2013
FTC: won from Sourcebooks FB page

After reading Susanna Kearsley's book The Winter Sea (my review) last year, I knew it wouldn't be my last.  I had so much fun with her combination of past and present and her unique "sort of not really time travel" romance books.  Haha. Wonder what category they fall into?  When I saw Sourcebooks had a little contest on their Facebook page I entered to win her newest one re-published by Sourcebooks.  It was already published in the UK by Allison & Busby but Sourcebooks publishes her US books. I just love the covers they do...gorgeous!  The Firebird does not disappoint. In fact, while I liked Ms Kearsley's books before, I am now a solid fan.  I'm tacking her up in my list of go-to feel-good get you out of your reading slump authors.

Back of the book:

With a simple touch, she can see an object's past. All who have wanted it. All who have owned it. All who have stolen it.

Nicola Marter was born with a gift so rare and dangerous, she keeps it buried deep. But when she encounters a desperate woman trying to sell a modest wooden carving she claims belonged to Russia's Empress Catherine, Nicola knows the truth.

There is one with greater powers than Nicola's, but he's a man she can neither love nor lose. Together, they'll pursue answers' and perhaps untold rewards. In once-glittering St. Pettersburg, the tale of The Firebird unfolds, irrevocably changing all who've pursued its secrets.

My thoughts:

It was just coincidence that the only other Kearsley book I've read is The Winter Sea - which if you look on Goodreads is touted as Slains Book #1 and The Firebird as Slains Book #2.  Don't think that you have to read The Winter Sea first or anything.  Mainly it's fun for Kearsley fans to see repeat characters and locations.  And I think that Rob is a repeat character from her novel The Shadowy Horses but I haven't read that one yet.

What originally drew me to this story is the Russian connection.  I had known from some college courses the significance of the firebird in Russian lore so I was excited to see how a Slains Castle in Scotland, the Jacobite Revolution, and Russia had in common.  The story was just a smidgen slow but once the characters entered Russia then the story really took off.  While I enjoyed Nicola Marter and Rob's story of their search for the history of a small wood carving of a firebird, it was Anna's story that made me hunker down and devour the book.  How this Scottish girl flees during the Jacobite Revolution and ends up in Russia is fascinating.  Ms Kearsley's description of St Petersberg - one of my top five places to visit - is so vivid.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of catching a chat night with Susanna Kearsley on Sourcebook's Facebook page.  She is so down to earth and awesome.  I believe they still have the transcripts up.  I loved hearing how she developed her characters, how she researched (a lot of her characters are actually historical figures!), and her take on genetic memory.

Other covers:

While beautiful, I don't think this cover really depicts the time period or subject matter of the book:

Also Reviewed By:
Burton Book Review
Drey's Library
Historical Novel Review
Historical Novel Society
Library of Clean Reads


  1. Amanda, that cover is awesome - I've been hearing rave reviews on this one.

  2. I am GOING to read one of these. one day.