Sunday, October 27, 2013

Susanna Kearsley - The Firebird

Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes sees images; glimpses
of those who have owned it before. It’s never been a gift she wants, and she keeps it a secret from most people, including her practical boss Sebastian, one of London’s premier dealers in Russian art.
But when a woman offers Sebastian a small wooden carving for sale, claiming it belonged to Russia’s first Empress Catherine, it’s a problem. There’s no proof. Sebastian believes that the plain carving — known as “The Firebird” — is worthless. But Nicola’s held it, and she knows the woman is telling the truth, and is in desperate need of the money the sale of the heirloom could bring.
Compelled to help, Nicola turns to a man she once left, and still loves: Rob McMorran, whose own psychic gifts are far greater than hers. With Rob to help her “see” the past, she follows a young girl named Anna from Scotland to Belgium and on into Russia. 
There, in St. Petersburg — the once-glittering capital of Peter the Great’s Russia — Nicola and Rob unearth a tale of love and sacrifice, of courage and redemption…an old story that seems personal and small, perhaps, against the greater backdrops of the Jacobite and Russian courts, but one that will forever change their lives.

Comment: This is the most recent story by this author. I got it mostly because I wanted to have all the books by the author but I picked this one sooner than other boos she wrote first because it has a character as protagonist that showed up in my favorite book by her, The Shadowy Horses. I was so curious to see if because of him, other beloved characters would show up too...

This is the story of Nicola and Rob. Rob is a policeman and her has psychic powers. He's the child from the book I mentioned who played an important part then. Now I was happy to see he's a good man, fair and friendly. He and Nicola had a relationship but Nicola wasn't ready for it and they broke up two years ago.
Nicola also has some psychic power and she finds out something about a client of the gallery of art where she works and wants to help her, but she thins she couldn't on her own. She asks Rob for help and together they unravel what's behind a small fire bird and what it meant...

I was quite curious about this story and how a character I've known would be like in the protagonist seat and most important, how he would be like as a grown up. I was quite happy with this, because little Robbie, now Rob, is a good man and he uses his powers in a very open way and has the respect from being a good person. Although his life isn't explored much we get the idea he's dealt well with challenges he had and he embraces his psychic powers proudly.
This is the main conflict int he contemporary storyline, because Nicola doesn't want to talk or to show her powers in any way. This was the main reason they broke up and now that she needs Rob's help, those feelings come to life again but this time love does speak louder and obviously they get their HEA. Still, I thought it was subtle -as per author's trademark - but convincing. I'd still have liked to see some more about this, I always think some things could be a bit more explicit, more discussed or enriched. But it's not bad, no.
And why? Because there's the other storyline that presents and interesting opposition to this one, or we can look at the similarities, it depends on who reads it.

The story from the past is set in Russia, mostly, and it's about Anna, she is the daughter from the main couple of Sophia's Secret. The author really tidied loose points here...anyway, Anna travels to Russia after an indiscretion in the convent where she was and because of something she said, an uncle is punished. She runs away and is helped by mr Gordon, he's an official in the navy and works in Russia. Anna grows up like his adopted daughter and also in the party of King James of Scotland, a theme from Sophia's Secret too. This part f the story was harder for m to get into, but the more I read, the more interesting it became, mainly after Anna falls in love. 

The author has a good talent to merger past and present but I admit I usually prefer the contemporary side because I feel she takes too much care about the past things and not as much with the present and I thin it should be the opposite. Ok, this is a personal preference, but I really do. The past always seems to have the stronger focus, though, so in a way, it's more detailed and presented to the reader...I think they are no doubts she is a god writer, preferences apart.

This book also allowed me to learn new things, always a good thing. I think the environment and the way things were linked together worked well.
So, this book teaches us  good lesson about how to be patient, how to trust and how sometimes the unexpected can be a good thing. I'll cherish this book, for sure, even though I still prefer the other one best.
Grade: 8/10

1 comment:

  1. Oh you read it! I have this book in my "to buy" list, but forgot to get it! I didn't read your review... yet, but will return to read it after I read the book. :) I do like that 8/10 though.