Genres: YA Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Supernatural, Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5
As Katerina lives the life of a young Russian aristocrat in the late 19th century, she tries to hide a dark and terrible secret: she can raise the dead. Nobody knows about it, until she raises a moth from the dead in the presence of the tsarevich and the daughters of King Nikola of Montenegro. Some people would call it a gift; she considers it a curse.
There is evil present among the bloodlines of the royal family, and threatens to take over .Soon, her necromancer powers attract unwanted attention from different sources, 2 of them being the gallant Crown Prince Danilo of Montenegro, and the tsar’s haughty middle son George Alexandrovich, who needs her help to protect Russia even if he is disturbed by her power. In order to keep Russia safe, Katerina must accept the powers she’s been fighting against her whole life. She is considered very powerful by both the Dark Court and the Light Court. It all matters as to which side she chooses, and who she chooses.
Initially I was reluctant to read this book, because it has a necromancer, and I didn’t finish the last book I read which had a necromancer. However, I was intrigued by the time period and the characters (the late imperial period in Russia is one of my favourite eras), so I decided to give it a shot.
This book has many strong points: the well-moving plot, the historically correct facts (yes, it’s true), the settings, and the mix of old and new in the Russia of the late 1800s. It’s filled with folklore and legends of old, yet there are signs that it’s “modern”.
The plot was really fantastic. It moved well. At first, it might seem a bit slow, because the first part of the first chapter has Katerina getting ready for a ball. However, that starts all the action in the story. One little thing led to another, slightly bigger problem plot point, and the story never really lets up or slows down until the end. It’s very well paced, nothing seems rushed, unless it was meant to be rushed, and nothing seems too slow and boring.
The author, Robin Bridges, put a lot of research into this book. It seemed as if I was actually in Russia, as the settings are real, and most of the people really lived. The descriptions of the places, though, seemed to be a bit lacking, because she didn’t really describe them that well, but left you to imagine grandness and elegance of the places. It worked somewhat, as it goes into “Show, don’t tell.”, which is good. When she’s wasn’t describing the mythical and paranormal aspects of the book, the real-life elements seemed to ring true.
The fantasy and horror parts of The Gathering Storm were well established, too. This was really important to me, because all the fantastical creatures played a rather large part in the book. There was a good amount of variety in them, and they weren’t just focused on one type of supernatural creature, like werewolves or vampires or something else falling into that category.
Lastly, the romance. This is a rather tough part to review about, because it’s very pivotal in the book, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. In the summary, it seems as if Katerina’s caught between Prince Danilo and George Alexandrovich. Both are interesting characters in the book, but it seems that more is revealed about Prince Danilo than about George. In the beginning, it seems that Danilo is more into Katerina’s favour than George, but as the book goes on it’s all twisted. It’s very hard for me to describe…but since I can’t I guess you’ll just have to read the book! 😀
In my opinion, The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges is a very good book. I’d recommend it for anyone, it has a bit of everything in it; romance, the supernatural, quite a lot of history (but not so much that it’s overwhelming), and some battles. If you read it, I hope you liked it as much as I did.
Thanks to Robin Bridges, and Google Images