Monday, May 20, 2013

BOOK: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley, 466 pages

review copy from Simon&Schuster Canada;
Canadian Book Challenge

This was my first book by Canadian author Susanna Kearsley, but not her first. The Firebird is her ninth novel, and the notes at the end suggest that some of the characters have come from a previous novel. Colonel Patrick Graeme was a major character, and based on a real person, from The Winter Sea. He is a minor character here, and while other characters are also based on real people, the main character in the present is fictional.

The Firebird has two stories - a present day art historian with a gift of sight, and a early 1700s story of a Scottish girl and how she ends up in Empress Catherine's Russian court with a potentially valuable artifact. The historical Jacobite's provide the backdrop to the past.

Nicola and her gift of sight felt a little forced to me as a method to 'see' the history of Anna and how and why she moved from Scotland and ended up in Russia. Nicola and her ex-boyfriend (and clearly going to be her new one) Rob, who also has the sight, can conveniently fast forward through history to see the scene they are interested in. Other than that weird little skill, I liked the book. The historic story of Anna and the Jacobites and the Russian court of early 1700s was really good. Kearsley writes great historic fiction, and I hated being brought back to the present day romance. I now want to read another book from the Russian court or one of Kearsley's Jacobite intrigue novels.