“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 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.”
This novel revolves around the idea of idea of psychometry. With the author’s help, it was easy to imagine what having these abilities might be like.
“WHAT IS PSYCHOMETRY? (from about.com)
Psychometry is a psychic ability in which a person can sense or “read” the history of an object by touching it. Such a person can receive impressions from an object by holding it in his/her hands or, perhaps, touching it to the forehead. Such impressions can be perceived as images, sounds, smells, tastes – even emotions.”
I particularly enjoyed glimpses into the history and beauty of Scotland and Russia. I also liked the double dose of romance: Anna’s story in the past and Nicola’s story in the present. Watching (reading) Anna’s story unfold from when she was a small child, to a grown woman and come full circle was very interesting. It was broken up with stops into the present where the romance between Nicola and Rob was developing. While Anna deep down knows she was “never a nobody”, Nicola comes to accept who she is.The Firebird is the first book I’ve read by Susanna Kearsley. She is very talented and I’m sure I would enjoy reading more stories by her.
Note: After reading about other books by Susanna Kearsley I realized, The Firebird is actually the second book in the Slains Series. The first book is The Winter Sea, Sourcebooks Landmark, 2010. I plan on reading the first book soon!
(Update 12/3/2013: Wanting to include this book as one of the best this year, I updated my rating to Five Stars.)