Review: The Winter Sea

The Winter Sea (Slains #1) by Susanna Kearsley
Sourcebooks Landmark, 2008, 2010

Description (From the author, Susanna Kearsley’s website)

History has all but forgotten the spring of 1708, when an invasion fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors, and starts to write.

But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory…making her the only living person who can know the truth of what did happen all those years ago – a tale of love and loyalty…and ultimate betrayal.

My Review – 3 Stars

The Winter Sea is the first book in the Slains series.  The Firebird is the second.  I read The Firebird first. While I don’t think these books necessarily need to be read in the correct order, I think it would be best if they were.  Even though they are distinct stories presented in different ways, the first lays some foundation for the second.The Winter Sea  revolves around the author of a novel, Carrie McClelland, who is writing from her genetic memory and feels the need to be near the Slains Castle in Northern Scotland.  Like The FirebirdThe Winter Sea has two story lines, one presented in the past which parallels one taking place in the present.  They are creative and romantic.   Susanna Kearsley gives beautiful descriptions of people and settings, which transports the reader in place and time.  The story is rich with history.  I felt slightly lost when it came to some of the players in history.  However, the author does a good job in weaving the story around the concept of genetic memory.

Update (7/20/2013): While I enjoyed The Winter Sea, I enjoyed The Firebird more.  I am looking forward to reading more of  Susanna Kearsley‘s works.

8 thoughts on “Review: The Winter Sea”

  1. I have this one too but have yet to read it. I loved The Firebird and I know you did too. Too bad this one didn’t wow you like The Firebird.


  2. Now, I think the Slains #2 is very misleading. If you go to her website, she says that The Firebird is a companion novel. That, to me, says that they are not a series but still connected. Still, I was quite impressed with The Firebird and definitely want to read more of her work. The genetic memory twist is very intriguing.


  3. I read The Firebird first. I haven’t read this one yet, though I’ve been curious about how they’re connected. My favorite Kearsley book is The Shadowy Horses. Wow, great stuff!


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