One Mysterious Relic.
Separated By Centuries.
Nicola Marter was born with a gift so rare and dangerous, she kept it buried deep. When she encounters a desperate woman trying to sell a small wooden carving called “The Firebird,” claiming it belonged to Russia’s Empress Catherine, it’s a problem. There’s no proof.
But Nicola’s held the object. She knows the woman is telling the truth.
I need to start by saying that Katherine Kellgren is amazing. Her narration is elegant and impressive. I guess that’s why she’s so popular. The characters all had distinctive voices and the proper accents. There are characters from all over Europe in this book. There are Scottish, English, Irish, and Russian characters that sometimes show up in scenes together. It is never confusing.
This book is great. Susanna Kearsley very cleverly switched back and forth between the 1700’s and today so smoothly that you don’t realize that it’s happened. I’ve read a lot of historic fiction. Most of what I’ve read has two stories taking place: one in the present and one in the past. I’ve found that usually the switch is abrupt and happens at the end of a chapter. In this book, however, that doesn’t happen. Nicola, and former boyfriend turned current possible love interest Rob, can see the past. This way both stories are intertwined. The transitions are very smooth. Rob can also see other things. I won’t spoil it for you. It’s a great part of the story.
Nicola’s journey begins when she accidentally touches a carved bird that a woman brings into the gallery where Nicola works. She sees that the woman is telling the truth about the origins of the bird. Nothing the woman says can be proved so they can’t sell it for her but Nicola can’t stop thinking about the woman and the bird so she decides to look into it. She sets out to visit the woman but when she realizes that it’s possible that she won’t be able to see what she needs to see she takes a detour. She ends up visiting Rob a former boyfriend who she met while taking part in a study that explored the psychic gifts they both possess. They’ve treated the gift they share very differently. Rob explored his and Nicola treats hers like it doesn’t exist. Thus Rob’s gift is more developed. Nicola’s problem stems from her grandfather who has the same gift. He was experimented on and had to flee Russia. You just want to give him a big hug.
Anna’s story, the 1700’s story, felt so real and now I know why. There are a few pages at the end of the book that explain that she used some real people in the story. Anna’s father for one. I think it adds a great deal to the book. The other characters in this book feel like they were alive too. The author fit everything together perfectly.
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