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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 978-1402276637
Published June 2013
Trade Paperback, 544 pages

Nicola Marter has the gift of being able to touch an object and see its past. When she touches a small wooden carving of a firebird claimed to have belonged to Russia's Empress Catherine, Nicola knows this to be true. Because she wants to help the owner of the firebird, Nicola impulsively goes from London to Scotland in search of Rob McMorran, the one man she knows whose gift of seeing things is even greater than hers. She knows he will help her, and deep inside she also knows he is the only man who truly understands her and can help her be her true self.

Kearsley's talent of drawing her readers in and letting them get so caught up in another world is once again so evident in her latest novel. Her seamless creation of two stories, one in the present, and the other in the past is her trademark, and I loved both of them. The historical story of Anna, the fictional daughter of Jacobite John Moray, was filled with intrigue, emotions and espionage. Anna was a fantastic character, brave, intelligent and strong. I loved the small, but significant role she played in history and since Russian history is one I'm not too familiar with, I enjoyed learning more about that time period. I revelled in the witty dialogue between her and Edmund and the way their story played out. This is romance at its best.

I could say the same for Nicola and Rob's story. Kearsley builds their relationship with the ability to make even the simplest actions sexy. Nicola has a hard time accepting how to use her gift, hiding it from the world, whereas Rob is open about it and wants Nicola to be herself without being ashamed of who she is and what she can do, using her gifts to help others.

I don't read the paranormal genre, with the exception of time travel stories, and I don't read books where the main characters are psychic. (Deut 18:9-13) When I first started reading this book, I was caught off guard thinking it more of a time slip theory than a paranormal one, and in many ways it is. Nicola describes her gift as a kind of ESP called psychometry. She and Rob see past images like a film and actually become a part of the images except that no one from the past can see them. This gave it more of a sci-fi feel than a paranormal one to me. However, the fact remains that the characters were considered psychic and this made me somewhat uncomfortable.

Apart from this, Kearlsey's writing is superb, which is why she is one of my favorite authors. If you've read her past work and enjoyed it, you will love The Firebird.

Note: This book is rated P = Profanity for a few religious expletives and PA for paranormal elements for characters who are psychic. There is one sex scene and although passionate it is not explicit at all.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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