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Review: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges (Katerina Trilogy #1)


Synopsis from 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?

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK


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 I always approach authors writing about Russia or Russians with great trepidation, because there are very few of them who really know what they are talking about. The majority is happy with dancing bears and rivers of vodka. Robin Bridges, on the other hand, I loved!

I know a lot of people complained about difficult names and bizarre ceremonies, but to be honest, I haven't noticed any of that. Robin Bridges took a beautiful period in Russian history on the verge of great changes and created something magical and enchanting, twisting this or that historical detail to make it all look authentic. 

 Check out the trailer!

There are secret societies and complicated treaties between vampires and fae living in St.Petersburg. Tsar Alexander is ready to go through a ritual which allows him to become an avatar of a legendary warrior to purge the country of a great evil slowly surrounding his capital. The vampiric Royal family from Montenegro is hoping to charm and ensnare Alexander's son to grab the power in Russia and inadvertently they awaken an ancient evil... Young cadets from aristocratic families, the personal guard of the royal family die one by one in gruesome attacks by a monstrous wolf and then come back as an army of living dead, and only young Katya with her unique gift of necromancy can stop all of these forces.

Katya is a riot, impatient, intelligent, with an impossible dream of becoming a doctor, loyal to her family and fiercely protective of her friends. She hides her gift of necromancy all her life thinking it's evil and shameful, but when she spies a Montenegro princess trying to put a love spell on a tsar's oldest son, she uses her gift to disrupt it and then attracts attention she so wanted to avoid, attention of two princes, George - middle son of the tsar with elven blood and Danilo, a Montenegran Royal with dark powers.

George is angry with her and wants her to stay away from his family, and Danilo wants to marry her and then sacrifice her powers during his ascension to a vampire so his family will be stronger, but when Katya finds out more and more of the dark plot, she has to join forces with George to thwart the Montenegrans.

This book certainly had a feel of Bram  Stoker's Dracula, and I loved the little quirks, urgency and menacing moods the plot telegraphed from its beginning till the end. It's mesmerising, full of myths and magic, it's sometimes Gothic, and I would recommend it to any fan of paranormal historical YA like Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series. The Gathering Light had the same feel about it.  

Second book, The Unfailing Light will be out this October. I can't wait!

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Ага! а вы небось думали, что я начну книжку разбирать по косточкам и плеваться в процессе :)


Робин Бриджес - умничка, замечательно описала сам период конца 19 века в России, правильно построила имена и церемонии, балы и различия в этикете, густо смазав всё это паранормалом и мифологией. Я просто наслаждалась и даже с грустью вспоминала русские исторические фильмы и книги той эпохи.

 Катя скрывает всю свою жизнь свой дар некромантии, считая его своим личным проклятьем и мечтая пойти по стопам отца и стать доктором. На одном из балов она замечает принцессу из Монтенегро, пытающуюся наложить любовное заклятье на наследника престола и прерывает его всплеском своей магии. Только вот теперь дар её оказывается замечен средним средним сыном царя, Георгием Александровичем, эльфийская кровь которого позволяет ему распознать силу Катерины. Королевская семья Монтенегро - состоящая из вампиров и ведьм тоже распознаёт её дар и напускает на неё харизматичного принца Данило, который хочет на ней жениться и использовать её кровь в ритуале своего обращения в вампира, до которого осталось всего лишь несколько месяцев.

Тучи сгущаются ещё потому, что Монтенегрийцы, играя со старыми заклятьями, разбудили древнего врага царской семьи, и теперь молодые гвардейцы царской семьи умирают один за другим, загрызанные чудовищным волком, а потом возвращаются в качестве живых мертвецов, а сам царь готовится к ритуалу вызова богатырской силы, что позволит ему сразиться с древним злом....и только дар Кати поможет спасти Санкт-Петербург и всю Россию.

Всё готично и атмосферно, и очень напоминает по духу Дракулу Брэма Стокера. Я думаю, что поклонникам серии Джемма Дойл писательницы Либбы Брэй эта книга очень даже придётся по вкусу!
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