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This builds on The Winter Sea and moves the story along. This is the story of Anna, Sophia's daughter. Anna's life could have been a tragedy - given up at birth by her mother and raised by a neighbor and later sent to live with nuns and finally landing with a new family in Russia. But it isn't a tragedy - instead it is the story of strength and poise and love. Anna accepts each stage of her life for what it is and what she can learn from it. That sounds a little ridiculous, I know. But, I really liked her plucky attitude and stamina for a 1720 girl!
This story is told in pieces by Nikola - an English girl with a gift for 'seeing.' Her connection to Anna is not through written words like Carrie's was - but by touching an object and 'seeing' the history and the events that the object was involved with. Nikola is a Russian art dealer who was asked to appraise a small carved bird - the firebird. She sees the Tsarina of Russia handing this bird to Anna - but doesn't know who Anna is or how she can prove the object was actually important.
Nikola enlists her friend Rob to help with the process - Rob has a stronger inner eye and together they embark to Russia to discover Anna's story. In the same way that Winter Sea told a double story - so does The Firebird. As the story of Anna is being told - Nikola and Rob's story is also unfolding.
I liked this book much more. I was very vested in the characters! There were a couple twists that I didn't quite anticipate that made the end very engaging. The history was important - but somehow it was easier for me to follow along without really knowing all the details. Maybe that happened because I cared for Anna more.
I would recommend this one! It was a fun and quick read.