Monday, January 23, 2012

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Title: The Gathering Storm
Author: Robin Bridges
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Source: Thank you Netgalley and Delacorte!

Summary: 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?

Review: The Gathering Storm is an intense historical read that incorporates many paranormal elements into a fantastic story.

The Gathering Storm has an amazing setting. Russia in 1888? I don't think it gets much better than that. I loved being alongside Katerina as she went to various social events and balls. I totally wish that I lived back then. Bridges makes St. Petersburg come alive with Katerina's voice.

Katerina is an admirable character but she did have her moments. At times she could bug me but I liked her character as a whole. She definitely wasn't afraid to figure out the mysteries that are present in this book. There are quite a few people and quite a few names to keep track of in the book. Once you get used to all the people it isn't confusing anymore.

There are some seriously evil characters in this book. I won't say who they were but they were so easy to dislike. But there is also quite a few lovable side characters, from Katerina's somewhat crazy mother to Grand Duke George. I think I'm partial to the Grand Duke, though. Romance is part of the book but it never  overwhelms the story line.

The only thing that detracts from this story is all the paranormal story lines. The Gathering Storm has a lot going for it in the paranormal department but there is so much of it. I was constantly learning new things and it is more than a little hard to keep things straight. After awhile I just went with it instead of trying to keep up. Then it all started to make sense!

The Gathering Storm is a win on the character and historical setting elements but it could get confusing at times. But, overall, The Gathering Storm is a must read for fans of historical fiction.

The Grand Duke....
He's not too shabby for a guy that lived that long ago. His older bother was Nicholas II, who was the last tsar of Russia. Apparently, Grand Duke George died out on his motorcycle with blood coming out of his mouth. Um, OK?! I hope this has no role in the story. My grand duke does not die. Though, during the story he is around 17 and he doesn't die till 28 so I doubt it will come up. 


Jenny said...

Despite the numerous characters and paranormal details to keep track of, this sounds like such a great read. Love when a setting really seems to be a character in and of itself and just comes alive when you're reading. Beautiful review Katie!

Lisa said...

I really enjoy reading about all of the balls and glamorous events when I read historical fiction. It seems we don't have those events in our time, and the ones we have that are supposed to be similar do not seem as intriguing.

YA Book Queen said...

Yikes, that's quite a way to die....and nice review! This one sounds interesting. :)

Burgandy Ice said...

great review - I totally want to read this!

Annette said...

It got a little detailed and confusing for me too. And, I just "went with it" and I agree, it made sense and I didn't stress about every little detail.

Lauren M said...

I'm happy to hear that the romance doesn't take away from the story! It's always weird when it takes over the focus of the book. :P Glad to hear that The Gathering Storm was for the most part enjoyable! Thanks for the review, Katie! :)

Mimi Valentine said...

Oohhhhhhh, colour me intrigued! :) I've been hearing so many cool things about this book for a while now, but since historical fiction has never been my thing, I wasn't sure if I wanted to read it. But your review changed that -- the romance and the characters all sound great!

Awesome review, Katie! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this one! :) <3

Summer said...

I'm fascinated by Russian history! I read more non-fiction but this could be something I'd like! Great review, Katie!!

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