Take Me Back to Russia: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

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The Firebird (Slains #2)

By Susanna Kearsley, narrated by Katherine Kellgreen

Released June, 2013 by audible.com

Around 16 hours

Genre: Historical fiction, Historical mystery

Four and a half stars

 Nicola follows a young girl named Anna who leads her into the past on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.

Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird isn’t your typical historical fiction novel. Taking place both in the past and present, Kearsley takes you from London, England to Scotland, all the way to Russia where the story really takes off. This story maybe considered a sequel to The Winter Sea, but this novel does not have to be read in order to follow the story line of The Firebird. I actually haven’t read The Winter Sea, and I was able to still enjoy the novel.

The story focuses around a woman called Anna Jamison (among other last names) during the time where Jacobites were fighting to reinstate King James as the rightful owner of the crown. Yet, it is how the story focuses on her that is interesting. Nicola, and her companion Rob, both have the ability to see the past; Nicola by simply touching an item, the reason of the quest in the first place when a dying woman tries to sell a family heirloom known as the firebird; Rob’s is more powerful where all he has to do is concentrate. Ultimately, you are following two great story lines. You read about Anna’s past, but not exactly through her eyes per se. There is no I felt, this happened to me etc, only with Nicola’s present story line.

This novel kept me on my toes. And for all you romantics out there, the end is a douse. I can’t tell you why, but there may have been a long awe coming from me. I truly enjoyed listening to this. So much so, I know I probably wouldn’t have been as engrossed if I read it instead of listening. The narrator, Katherine Kellgreen was truly incredible. The accents she did were fabulous. They were spot on. Her Scottish ones were great. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of them. Although I haven’t been to Scotland yet, I have a feeling they were pretty accurate.

Every part of this novel felt real and authentic. As I have been to Russia before, it was great to “revisit” the country. Honestly, it is the second book I read this year about Russia. And, I’m not complaining. Both got really high ratings from me.

I would highly recommend this book. Although it started slow, once I hit part two, I was hooked. I listened for over nine hours straight! The second and last part were both are four- five hours give or take minutes. And, I enjoyed every single minute of it. And, if you are like me and love cultural historical fiction, this is one book you don’t want to miss. If you are more of a fan of love stories, still pick up this novel. Like I said, the end is a big awe inducing moment. I enjoyed everything I learned while reading this. I definitely think I would listen to this book again. Maybe skip some of the first part, to be honest. If you stick through the first fifty or so pages, all the rest you will breeze through. Really it all picks up once Rob is introduced and they start their journey together.

If you are an audible member, make this book your monthly choice. I did, and there are no regrets. With other audio sites, I am unaware of it is the same narrator. Check first is my recommendation. Katherine Kellgreen’s narration of this novel is not to be missed.

“Hiding the person you are,’ he said, ‘won’t make you happy. I never hide who I am. What I am.” 

Tackle Your TBR Shelf Read-a-thon Finale

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ORIGINAL GOALS

Goal One- Read 5-6 books: read two to three netgalley books on my shelf (I have 15, oh my!) my late library book The Ambassador’s Daughter, The Bookmaker’s Tale, and a surprise.

Goal Two- Write a review for each and post on same day as read.

Goal Three-Participant in at least half of the challenges and visit most of the participants.

Goal Four- Read 2100 pages, whew.

FINAL UPDATE REVEAL 

The end has neared. I know I haven’t done many updates, but believe me I have been busy.

Let’s see how I did, shall we?

Goal One– total books read 4 and 1/2 

READ:

Sideshow of Merit by Nicole Pietsch (DNF but review linked)

Reaping Me Softly by Kate Evangelista (3 stars- review linked)

4 to 16 Characters by Kelly Hourihan (2 and a half stars-review linked)

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley (4 stars and a half stars-review to be posted)

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen (4 and a half stars-review linked)

*Three netgalley books read and reviewed- goal 2-3 to be read completed

*One impluse e-book buy

*One audio book

Goal Two: post all reviews

Four out of five books read, reviewed, and posted.

Goal Three:

One challenge missed out of six.

About half of participants visited. (I even got new followers, thanks all!)

Goal Four:

Pages read: 1439 in 11 days!  (I thought I had three weeks so not bad, not bad at all)

16 hours of audio listened to (totals around 400 pages, I shall count in page count, I shall)

All in all, I had fun with the challenges, participants, reading in excess, and catching up to my goodreads goal. I was behind by 11, now I am behind by 7. Woo hoo. 

Big thanks go to all the people who set up challenges, giveaways, and to Tressa at Tressa’s Wishful Endings and Laura at Colorimetry to make this wonderful event happen. I enjoyed it immensely.  

 

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