Book Review: The Firebird

“The world becomes a wider place, with but a little learning.” 
― Susanna Kearsley, The Firebird
Book Review: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
Book Title: The Firebird
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Series: Book 2 in the Slains Series
Publication Date: 2013
Genres: Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Goodreads Rating: 4.07 Stars
My Rating4.5 Stars

Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When a woman arrives with a small wooden carving at the gallery Nicola works at, she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird—the mythical creature from an old Russian fable.

Compelled to know more, Nicola follows a young girl named Anna into the past who leads her on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.

1. The Slains Series was the best series I’ve read in the last year. But really. The Winter Sea was in my Top 10 books of 2014, and this sequel did not disappoint. It was different than the first book, and it really could be a standalone novel. In fact, I didn’t make the connection to The Winter Sea until at least page 100. But it was so, so good.

2. I love the cross between present and past. As with The Winter Sea, there was as much going on in the present day as there was in the past. Towards the end of the novel, the past overtakes the book as things heat up in Russia. Generally, I’m pretty picky on what time periods I like to read historical fiction from, and Russia has never really been fascinating to me, but Susanna Kearsley did an amazing job of drawing me into the past world and making me want to learn more. (She did the same thing with Irish history in The Winter Sea.)

3. I loved these characters so much. There is so much life and fire in Anna, and despite all of her hardships, I never had a doubt that this intelligent, awesome girl would find her way. Nicola and Rob’s love story is intriguing. Even the whole psychic powers thing was done well enough that I didn’t mind it in there. The characters really drove the book on this one.

This novel intrigued me, made me want to learn more about Empress Catherine of Russia, and moved me to tears at some points (happy tears, I promise).

“There are times,” he said to Anna, “when our victories have a cost that we did not foresee, when winning brings us loss.”

“She nodded, looking down at the small wooden bird, a plain thing carved by a great man who’d always taken pleasure in creating things with his own hands. She’s telling me, I think, that I should seek to be none other than myself, and so fly always like the bird that I was born to be.”

“The strongest soldier cannot balance long upon the blade that does divide his honor and his heart, and whatever way he falls, the cut will kill him.”

6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Firebird

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