Author: Robin Bridges
400 pages, Published by Delacorte Books For young Readers, YA
Buy The Book: Amazon
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? (Summary provided by Delacorte.)
The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges is simply breathtaking. An adventurous tale set in St. Petersberg Russia in the year 1888, The Gathering Storm tells the story of a teen necromancer, Katerina, who is trying to come to terms with her powers. To further complicate matters Katerina is the Duchess of Oldenburg and must simultaneously hide her powers and fend off suitors while trying to keep the royal family safe.
Teens and adults alike will be fascinated by the cultural differences between the modern world and 1880’s Imperial Russia. Katerina longs to study medicine after she finishes high school and the difficulties regarding women studying medicine during that time period are highlighted in the book. I was so happy to see a paranormal teen protagonist who is not just wrapped up in the moment fighting against evil forces but who is also thinking about her future as well. Katerina’s love of medicine and her tendency to help the doctor patch up soldiers at the hospital fascinated me. My husband is a doctor, so I thought the descriptions of medical procedures in the 1880’s were quite interesting.
Katerina is a necromancer, but she does not yet know how to control her powers. When others find out about her dark secret, she finds herself pursued by faeries, vampires, and even another necromancer that are all related to or associated with the royal family in one way or another. I thought this was an awesome concept. Faeries, necromancers and vampires in Imperial Russia? Awesome. Can someone please write a book like this about the modern British Royal family? Please include vampire Pippa if you do! Bridges’s writing will captivate young readers with descriptions of lush period fashions and the elaborate balls that provide a backdrop for much of the action of the novel. The Gathering Storm is book one of a fantastic new YA trilogy. Get your copy today!
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Just realized I am finished writing the review and didn’t even mention the vampire moths. How could I not mention the vampire moths?! You’ll just have to read The Gathering Storm to find out why they remind me of this:
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