The final (of what is currently published) of Susanna Kearsley’s novels, The Firebird novel picks up with characters from The Shadowy Horses and The Winter Sea, modern characters and historic, respectively. For those of you unfamiliar with Kearsley’s novels, there are at least two timelines with a bit of a love interest and some kind of mystery between the two. In this novel we follow Nick, a girl who can see the past of an object when she touches it, as she tries to prove that the firebird brought to her by a woman was actually from a Russian Empress three hundred years before. To do this, she needs the help of an old love, Rob, who can see the past.
Alright, a quick review of who is from what story: Anna is from The Winter Sea, she was the historical character’s daughter, and Rob is from The Shadowy Horses, he is the boy who could see the sentinel and is the reason THAT main character met her love. So these two characters, one in the past one in the present, are also book ends in reverse. The past character was the result of love, while the present character was the reason one love started. I think that Anna might also be a character from A Desperate Fortune, in which a certain Mrs. Jamieson (but I haven’t confirmed that yet). I do wish we were able to see some of the modern characters from both of those books.
ALRIGHT, the writing was great, and it was nice that this book had a lot of traveling throughout it. Russia was interesting, though really we mostly saw the historic side to it. And this is a novel that did have the modern characters grow and change, but almost all of the action happens in the past. The plot was interesting, though most of the mystery came from trying to just prove the past and figure out where the bird came from. Unlike the other novels, this one really didn’t have a solid compelling story, so I found myself pushing through it just to see what happened with the love interest.
Part of that lack-of-compelling-story was, for me, because the historical story, Anna’s story, had really been wrapped up in The Winter Sea. I didn’t need to see those characters again. And, in every way, it sort of ruined the modern ending for that couple. I just wish they could have told this story with another family.
Overall, I still enjoyed this novel, though it was startling to go from Rob as a boy to Rob as a man. And not get to see the characters from The Shadowy Horses in that process.
Still, this is a good novel for historical fiction fans, romance fans (because this novel has A LOT more romance than any of her others), action, and just people looking for a good read. Oh, and paranormal fans.