Friday, January 13, 2012

Alice's Review on The Gathering Storm

The Gathering Storm
Author: Robin Bridges (@robinbridges)
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 10, 2012
Format: E-Galley
Pages: 395
Source: Netgalley
Rating: Escapable
Series: The Katerina Trilogy #1
The Other Books: The Unfailing Light
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
Extras: Trailer, Facebook,
Seek: Amazon, Goodreads
St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?
 The cover does fit the setting of the book, which is St. Petersburg, Russia. The girl with the swirling snow around is what made me want to read this book.
I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Elena, even if she was a witch. If she couldn’t keep her powers hidden here at Smolny, what hope did I have? Raising the dead was my own secret, a talent I kept hidden, even from myself when I could.
Mon Dieu, this book was exhilarating! I did expect there to be some magical themes to be tied into this story but I did not expect vampires, revenants, and a necromancer to be involved as well. However, I do not want to spoil all the goods inside this book.

I am a big historical fiction lover. There is a lot of studying that has to go into writing a great historical fiction, but there also can be a lot imagination added as well. When an author ties in old fairytales and myths into the book, it just fascinates me. I think Robin has done a wonderful job in tying Russian myths into the book, and her character Katerina is by far one of my favorite heroines.

Katerina has darkness around her that she does not want anyone to know about. She discovered her ‘curse’ when she brought a dead toad back to life. After another event bringing something back to life and seeing the effects it has, she promised herself to never use her curse again. But when it comes to protecting the Imperial family, she must use her power to stop another person’s spell.

After she uses her power, it does not go unnoticed. The Montenegrins have taken an interest in her gift, and they think she is special. However the Grand Duke George, sees her as tainted by black magic and doesn’t like being around her. Katerina agrees with the Duke and that is why she keeps her curse a secret, she is afraid people will see her as a monster. All she wants to do is become a doctor, and in her time, a female becoming a doctor is not deemed suitable for a woman of class.

But there are darker things out there, and everything seems to happen around Katerina. The darker fantasy that is tied into this makes it exciting. Katerina is not a dark character though, she was fun to read about and her necromancy doesn’t seem bad at all, but helpful. Katerina has become my favorite character this year, and we’ll see if any character can pass her. The ending has left me wanting more, and I will certainly be looking for the sequel next year.

If you enjoy a good fantasy, I would recommend this book!
The next, The Unfailing Light, is coming out this year! Yeah can't wait to read it.

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