Book Review: The Gathering Storm

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Gathering Storm Cover

Title: The Gathering Storm (Katerina #1)

Author: Robin Bridges

Summary: [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?

My Review

Russia, black magic and Victorian-style balls? I am so there! I have to say I was a little worried, though. It seems like since its release The Gathering Storm has just fallen off the radar. Usually if a book is really good I’ll see a review here and there for at least a little while after. I needn’t have worried though – this one lived up to its blurb.

The thing that surprised me was the strong flavor I got of Pride and Prejudice. I mean, I was bound to get some of that with the balls and everything (which, by the way, are ten times more magical when imagined with snow and cold!) but the way Katiya struggled between the incredibly charming but ultimately unsavory Danilo, and the stoic, difficult George reminded me vividly of Lizzie Bennet’s choice between Wickham and Darcy. Once that connection was made it wasn’t much trouble to extend the comparison – Katerina’s mother has hysterics over her possible engagements just like Mrs. Bennet does, Katiya’s best friend Dariya combines Charlotte and Jane into a slightly boy-crazy but smart sidekick, and Elena (Danilo’s sister) is a perfectly annoying Caroline Bingley. After a while it’s pretty clear that the resemblance ends there – the endings of the books are so drastically different that I would be hard pressed to call it an actual retelling. But the resemblance is an interesting one!

I’m very excited to pick up the next book and find out where this goes. I’m terrible at Russian history – All I remember is Anastasia’s story somewhere around the 1880s – but I really hope thy work in Rasputin and the Romanov massacre somehow! It would be incredibly interesting considering the paranormal backdrop!

Leave a Reply

5 Responses to “Book Review: The Gathering Storm”

  1. I really, really want to read this one!! I’m always looking at it and ogling the beautiful cover, but it really does sound awesome, too. And yay for P&P vibes! I like those. :)

    Great review, Anne!

  2. I LOOOOVED this book! Absolutely loved it. ..although I wonder if it had something to do with my bias toward all things Tsarist Russia.

    I have a copy of the second book, but haven’t found the time to read it yet. :( Hopefully I’ll get to it soon!

    As for Rasputin and the Russian Revolution, I doubt it’ll be in the series. Nicholas had a minor role in this one though! But what you’re referring to didn’t happen until 1918 – a good 30 years later.

    • Anne says:

      Well, like I say, I’m not good with dates. I have a general “this happened before this” sense but to know exactly when each thing happens NEVER happens lol. Glad you liked it :) I’ll be getting to the next soon!

  3. […] (2/26) I reviewed The Gathering Storm by Robin […]

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