THE FIREBIRD by Susanna Kearsley



Two Women.   One Mysterious Relic.  Separated By Centuries.

Nicola Marter was born with a gift so rare and dangerous, she kept it buried deep. When she encounters a desperate woman trying to sell a small wooden carving called “The Firebird,” claiming it belonged to Russia’s Empress Catherine, it’s a problem. There’s no proof. But Nicola’s held the object. She knows the woman is telling the truth.


RHL CLassifications

18th century/ time slip/fantasy

Heat Level 1.5

Reviewer rating : 4 Stars


Nicola Marter has special abilities. She can touch an object and sense its past. When a client brings in a small, wooden carving of a bird – The Firebird – to the gallery where she works for an art dealer, Nicola knows that the bird is as claimed by the owner, an artifact from the 18th century Empress Catherine of Russia. There is no proof of documentation to authenticate this though.

Nicola goes to the one person she knows who can help, Rob McMorran whose own psychic gifts are far stronger than hers. They have a past, and as they travel through Europe and finally to Russia discovering the secrets of the Firebird, their relationship reignites.

Is there another author who can blend so seamlessly supernatural/paranoramal, historical and romantic fiction in such elegant story-telling as Susanna Kearsley?

No, there isn’t.

Though this is not quite as good as my favourite Susanna Kearsley – The Winter Sea – it is still a lovely read. This is basically a continuation of The Winter Sea featuring Anna, the daughter of the hero and heroine from that book. It is also related to The Shadowy Horses.

As in most of Susanna Kearsley’s books, The Firebird is set in dual timelines. And it also involves two romances, in the contemporary timeline between Rob and Nicola, and in the historical timeline with Anna.

My two main criticisms of The Firebird are the slow pacing, and the rather unbelievable career choice of the hero. Being apoliceman in a small, coastal village is simply too implausible when he has an incredible psychic gift and the ability to solve the riddles of history.

Nevertheless, Ms Kearsley is one of those rare and talented authors who writes so well that even such gaping holes as this can be overlooked. The quiet, subtle romance combined with an engaging plot, well-researched historical details and descriptions and her beautiful flow of words are more than enough.



3 Responses

  1. I’m reading this right now! Some of her books are better than others (The Winter Sea is my favorite too, followed by Mariana), but overall I think she’s pretty consistent in delivering good reads, and that makes her one of my favorites! Good review, Jill!

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