Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: The Firebird

The Firebird is an enchanting novel by Susanna Kearsley. It is the July selection of She Reads, an organization dedicated to bringing great books to women. I promise you that once you start reading, you will not want to put it down.

Through the narrative, Kearsley tells the story of Nicola and Rob and their ability to see into the past. Through their gift, they reveal the story of Anna, an enchanting young girl who lived in the early 1700s during the exile of King James VII. Her family are Jacobites, loyal to the king they wish to help return to his throne. Anna’s father, John Moray was a crucial part of the rebellion and the family fears the knowledge of the child’s birth would put her in danger as well as give the enemy leverage against her father. The Morays are known for their loyalty, but will that loyalty hold fast against the threat and torture of a child? The child remains hidden. She doesn’t know the truth until her uncle comes to take her to a safer place, but the convent isn’t safe for long.

Nicola Marter is cursed with a gift. She has the ability to see an object’s past. At her grandfather’s insistence, she keeps her ability a secret. He knows the hardships this gift can bring. Nicola longs to be average and she avoids using her gift as much as possible, but sometimes an object’s history demands revelation.

Nicola works in a gallery where she acquires beautiful artifacts and sells them. When Margaret Ross brings in the firebird for an evaluation, Nicola immediately sees an image of a young woman. She wonders if it is possible the firebird could have been given to Margaret’s ancestor by the Empress Catherine of Russia. But there is no way to prove it.

Encouraged by the pleadings of her late mother, Margaret wants to see the firebird so that she may finally travel. Nicola sees the woman’s intense longing and desire and her heart goes out to her. But how could she prove the firebird was a gift from the empress?

There is only one person who can help Nicola, Rob McMorran. Rob doesn’t hide his gift. He cultivates it. They have a complicated history and it doesn’t help that their gifts allows access into each other’s private thoughts. Will Nicola dare to ignore her grandfather’s warnings and use her gift to prove the history of the firebird?

It is definitely a book you will not want to put down. You're anxious to find out Anna's story as well as Nicola's.

I chose to listen to the audio edition of The Firebird. I found Katherine Kellgreen's performance to add a depth to the characters that my own American voice could not give them.

Please join us at She Reads where we will be featuring The Firebird this month. Pop over for the chance to win five of Susanna Kearsley's novels.