Young duchess Katerina Alexandrovna has a wonderful gift of necromancy which she regards as a curse. The gift/curse makes her wanted by both dark and light powers. The Tsar’s second son, Grand Duke George, deduces Katerina’s power and reminds her ‘nicely’ not to ever use her dark power. The crown prince of Montenegro, the gorgeous Prince Danilo, wants Katerina for his own agenda, which is suspiciously involved with blood sucking. Katerina has to learn how to waltz among the dark and light faerie court, old vampire clans who want to take revenge on the Tsar, and unconsciously-raised living dead… all without falling for the charm of the charming Prince Danilo or off-limits Grand Duke George.
First of all, this book is set in Russia in 1888. Can’t go wrong with that beautiful time, right? There are so many balls and gowns mentioned to satisfy my obsession. I love the vivid and beautiful description of the setting. It’s very easy to imagine myself taking a walk in the woods, breathing the frosty air and savoring the cold beauty of winter in Russia.
There is something fascinating about historical fiction. Although I tend to get headache in desperate attempts of remembering their strange names and deciphering the unfamiliar words, I always have pleasure in reading historical fiction. Maybe it’s the complicated yet mesmerizing protocol, the way the characters speak in perfect manner and veiled words. I’m a lover of words, so I always appreciate a play of words. But maybe another cause of my fascination is the perfect gentlemen’s acts in historical fiction. Call me weird, but I melt whenever the hero takes the heroine’s hand and kisses it. There’s a reason I adore Mr. Darcy.
The Gathering Storm is a book that I wished there would have been more romance inside. It’s more focused on Katerina’s power, her fear for her family and friends’ safety, and her detective work on finding the main threat of the Tsar. Aside from the lack of romance, I really like the paranormal aspect of the book. It’s very interesting to see how the author, Robin Bridges, mingles history with Russian legends.
I like Katerina. She’s lovely, smart, and very nice. She wants to be a doctor and I feel bad for her that woman at that time in Russia is not permitted to. However, sometimes I’m exasperated by her pessimistic view of life. She refuses to ask help to people around her because she’s afraid of endangering their life, even when she’s stuck in a very difficult situation. Her romance with Prince Danilo is a sort of enchantment, while the relationship she has with Grand Duke George is more natural. George is very stubborn yet I can’t help falling for him. There is no insta-love in their relationship. Mon dieu. Not with George keep catching Katerina in shady states.
In overall, I did enjoy The Gathering Storm immensely. There are so many things to love in this book, yet I finished it feeling like there’s something missing. The story could be something… more. More action, more developing characters, more surprising twists, and a conclusion! The first book of this trilogy feels like the promise of the storm ahead. Well, definitely the gathering of storm. However, I hope you would give this book a shot, because it’s full of amazing premises and likeable characters. I definitely can’t wait to read the second book of this trilogy, The Unfailing Light!
I shivered, feeling nothing but the bitter cold. I was certain that, witch or no witch, Elena would not do anything foolish. But as I looked back across the line of sleighs, full of excited young girls, I had a terrible vision. A brilliant bluish-white light illuminated each girl’s face.
This vision was, unfortunately, very familiar.
Death would be dancing with us at the ball that night.
I crossed myself and prayed it would touch no one I loved.
I rate this book:
Four cups of tea. Amazing! Love the book, it’s simply awesome. I love the tea flavor! A strong recommendation.