Thursday, June 07, 2012

Review: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges


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.

19 comments:

  1. This sounds really good Hilda! I've only read one other series involving a necromancer which was Kelly Armstrong's series: Darkest Powers. I loved that series. I always like a lot of romance in books so I can understand why you wished there was more in this one. Lovely review Hilda. :)

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    1. Hehe, I'm glad you understand, Rachel! I adore romance in my books, so I'm a bit disappointed when there isn't much of it. Though I have to admit one of the best point of this book is the fact that it's more focused on Katerina's power. :)

      Thank you Rachel! <3

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  2. Awesome review Hilda!!! Hehe. Just dropping by to say HI and ILY sweetie!! <3

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    1. Thank you Riya! <3 And oh, you're just full of SWEETNESS! <3 Aww I LOVE YOU too hehe! <3 x)

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  3. 1888 Russia is an interesting time. I love historical fiction. I think this book will rock.

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    1. Oh, I hope you're going to love this book when you read it, Roxanne! This book made me dying to visit Russia LOL! x)

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  4. Oh the cover to this is also gorgeous when it's bigger! I think I will have to put a gr shelf named Hilda with all these awesome books you seem to be recommending! :) Wonderful review my love! :)

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    1. I think almost every cover look better when it's bigger LOL! I'm such a cover junkie! x) Aww, Jasprit, you're just too sweet! I think I might need a Goodreads shelf named you too, because I always want to read whatever you recommend! x)

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  5. Brilliant review, Hilda! I've been considering reading this one and now I definitely HAVE to! And I love that you're a Darcy fan. ;) <3

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    1. Thanks, Nicola! <3 I can't wait to hear what you think of this book! Hopefully you're going to like it! Awww Mr. Darcy <3

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  6. I haven't heard much about this book, but I'm glad to see you liked it, Hilda. I also have a soft spot for a bit of hand-kissing. Romance set in this sort of time period always makes me swoon. ;) Even though you were expecting a little more from the book overall, it's great to hear you still enjoyed it. I will have to give this a shot! Great review, Hilda! :)

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  7. At the first I saw the pretty cover and heard this book would be about paranormal-historical Russia, I was totally hooked! :D I find myself as a history lover (I even got the highest mark at History on my schooling day,lol) and I think ancient Russian would be a very gorgeous setting.

    Before you, I read a lot of mixed reviews, many of them even didn't really enjoy it very well but I still really want to read it. So I REALLY glad you enjoy it, at least it can push me to order the paperback version soon :D
    Thanks for awesome review as well, Hilda! You always rocks!

    PS : about Sarah Dessen novels, WOW! But I live at East Java, if it doesn't bother you, I'd love too! I really need some contemporary refreshment these days xD
    I'll send you an e-mail soon to talk about it. Thank you so much!

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  8. This sounds BRILLIANT. Paranormal historical Russia and all those balls and gowns and HAND KISSING (mr. Darcy FTW <3). OH and I love veiled words and smart talk too. It's so much fun to read about such conversations! This is high up my to-read list now, thanks for the wonderful review Hilda! I hadn't heard of this book before but it sounds fab. And "Death would be dancing with us at the ball that night"! I LOVE THAT LINE :D

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  9. Awesome review Hilda! I haven't read any historical fiction in years, which makes me quite overdue. The setting of Russia in 1888, with all the snow sounds enchanting, as well as the perfect setting for a romance =) Ahhh, good ol' Mr. Darcy. Why can't guys in real life be more like that? Hahha!

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  10. I love that this book is set in Russia. It's always great to learn about other countries when reading. :)
    This sounds like a fabulous read. I have a feeling that the main character is pretty kick-butt.
    The descriptions sounds like something I would love to read about !
    Little romance can be frustrating at times. I'm so used to having romance in my books that I actually get a little bored if there's no romance ! :O YA books have ruined me ! :P
    Lovely review, Hilda ! <3

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  11. I love history but Ruasian on top of that. Definitely want to read this someday. The quote you picked really intrigues me. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Great review! =D

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  12. Firstly, this book has the best title ever! I love it. There's always something so incredibly romantic and enchanting about a story set in wintery Russia. Makes me shiver just thinking about it. I think I might like this one. I'm not that huge a fan of too much romance so this might be perfect for me.

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  13. The Gathering Storm really sounds like a kick-butt book! I got rejected on it from NG :'( buuuuuut, I've been seeing some mixed reviews about this book. If you said you wished for more romance, I'll probably do the same! (Seeing how I am a HUGE romance junkie and all.)

    HOWEVERRRR, I will check out this book! It still seems pretty enticing to my eye. ;D

    Awesome review, Hilda! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. <3

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  14. "Can’t go wrong with that beautiful time, right?" A million times right! Just the mention of balls and gowns is making me so giddy with happiness -- and unrelatedly, I'm a fan of Russian boys but then again, who isn't? x) I'm a romantic too so I'd probably feel the same way about the small romance, but the rest of the book sounds awesome enough to compensate for it!

    Beautiful helpful review, Hilda! I'll make sure to send an email to your future husband to kiss your hand LOL :') <3

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