Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Review: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publishing Date:  January 10, 2012
ISBN: 9780385740227
Genre: YA, historical, paranormal, fantasy, romance
Author page:

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:  Robin Bridges created a wonderful story with fully fleshed-out characters with a setting that was so inviting to the reader.  How often can you say that about a paranormal or fantasy novel?  While I really enjoy paranormal and fantasy genres, I cannot say that I have ever been this head-over-heels drawn to a story-line.  

I found the historical aspects of the novel very intriguing.  I am a huge lover of historical fiction, and although this is not a true historical fiction, it has many of the same aspects.  Learning about this time period of Russia could not have been more entertaining.  While keeping to the setting of 1888 St. Petersburg, Russia, the author cleverly wove in the paranormal features and romantic touches that made the story what it is.  

I recently ran across a quote from Jo Ann Ferguson that I thought really portrayed the feel of this novel.  She was asked for her definition of paranormal: "A story that has an element of the impossible which makes everything in the story possible."  Does that not say so much?

 I must admit that this is my favorite of all the books I have read so far in 2012 (I think that I stated that in another post about this book).  I was wrapped up in the characters & setting from page one.  I still feel tied to the book, running scenes through my mind every so often.  I honestly did not want the book to end.  The good news is that it is only the first in the trilogy (The Katerina Trilogy, Vol. 1) - I have more to look forward to.

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