New Year's Day, 1906. A family celebrates, skating on the ice of a vast lake, far north in Russia. Cousins of the Romanov Tsars, this is the Rumovsky family - Prince Pyotr, his wife Princess Sofia, their son Ivan and twins Yelena and Alexander, and their young Irish governess, Miss Harriet. With them is the patriarch of the family, old Prince Mikhail, a strange, towering figure, a man from another century, with his fabulous Boyars' court at the castle, a Tamburlaine of the snows . . . Behind the Rumovsky family and their mediaeval island castle lie 300 years of autocratic but peaceful rule. Ahead of them, the old Prince expects the same for his descendants. It is not to be. Firesong is the story of the Rumovskies - their lives, deaths and hazardous escapes in the nightmarish new Russia that soon engulfs them: a land stricken by famine, pestilence, war and death. A story both intimate and epic, reminiscent of Dr Zhivago, this is a dramatic saga of men and women who fight for their destiny, in love and peace, against all the odds of war and dissolution.
Born in London, brought up and educated in Ireland, Joseph Hone is a well-known Irish writer and broadcaster. His novels include the bestselling Summerhill and Return to Summerhill.