THE FIREBIRD, by Susanna Kearsley
Dear Friends, Again my friend Theresa Atashkar has prepared a lovely review. I am beta-reading now and I am behind on my reading and reviewing so I want to thank her for reviewing Ms. Kearsley. I told her I am in awe of her writings and find it difficult to express my admiration, so “T” stepped in.
“I nearly didn’t notice when his thoughts touched mine. It was a rare thing these days; rarer still that I would let him in, but my own thoughts were drifting and I knew that his were, too. In fact, from what I saw of where he was---the angle of the ceiling and the dimly shadowed walls---I guessed that he was likely still in bed, just waking up himself.”
Nicola Marter worked for Sebastian at the Galerie St.-Croix, a Fine Russian Arefacts and Art gallery. As soon as she arrived for work that day Sebastian was waiting for her to meet a woman by the name of Margaret Ross. Margaret was plainly dressed and not one of their usual clients; however, she had a small treasure that she wanted appraised. She was hoping to sell it so she could go on vacation. She stated that this treasure was her inheritance passed down for over 300 years. It was given to one of her ancestors by Empress Catherine of Russia. It was a little hand-carved wooden bird; Margaret stated that she was told they called it a Firebird. There was no documentation to prove where it originated and both Sebastian and Nicola knew it was worthless without it. Sebastian handed the carving to Nicola to examine. “Instantly I felt a warmth that had nothing to do with the carving itself. I closed my eyes to try to stop the vision, but that only made it worse. I saw a slanting fall of light, with fine dust dancing through it. Two women, one aging but lovely, with heavy black eyebrows; the other respectfully bent, perhaps kneeling, her young face upturned in uncertainty. ‘My darling Anna,’ the first woman said to the other in elegant Russian, and smiled. ‘You were never a nobody.’”
This much-loved book is a continuation of “The Winter Sea”, in which Anna, Margaret’s ancestor, is born to Sophia and John Moray and is hidden with another family to keep her safe. “The Shadowy Horses” is the second book in the series, which takes place further in history where Robby is introduced; he is a young boy that has the gift of Psychometry; he can touch an object and go back in time and learn all about the history of that particular object. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books; Susanna’s writing touched my heart and she brought everything full circle with “The Firebird.”
This novel takes place in present day and Nicola is on her way to Russia on business so she decides to take the little wooden bird with her to see if she can find out if there is any history to back up what the old lady had said. Before she leaves she looks up an old friend, Robby or Rob as he is called now. She has the same gift as he does but Rob’s is much more refined and he’s not afraid to use it. Nicola asks for his help and he says he will go with her to Russia and help her.
Their journey begins in St. Petersburg, searching in time for Anna as a little girl and what kind of life she had while her mother put her in hiding with another family. They follow her through her teenage years as she struggles to keep her true identity a secret from everyone; even watching her suffer as I suffered with her in silence as she finds out that her beloved Uncle had died before he could find her. They travel further through time together as she meets Empress Catherine for the first time and makes a very good impression on the Queen. Anna is escorted as a young single lady by Edmond, who is a relative of the family she is staying with. Nicola and Rob watch as they fall in love, all the time falling in love themselves. When both couples finally realize it, my heart sang with joy for all of them, but especially Anna because her whole life was so hard-fought. I loved this book and it deserves more than 5 stars! In fact, now that I am finished with this review, think I’ll read it again….