Published: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
e-copy: courtesy of Netgalley and publisher
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?
'The Gathering Storm' is a captivating historical romance with engaging characters and a wonderful story that I read in just about one sitting. What makes this different from most historical romances is the paranormal aspect. For starters, Katiya is a necromancer, confused and unsure about her powers. It's not enough that she has to navigate the confusing social circles of Tsarist Russia, she has to find out how to stop blood drinkers and revenants (think vampires and zombies) from taking over the aristocracy. Then we have the fact that the royal family is composed of opposing factions from faerie, both dark and light courts, and the story really starts to get interesting.
Poor Katiya really doesn't know which way to turn, and to make a confusing situation even worse, she keeps bumping into Grand Duke George, who is totally infuriating, and seems to delight in making her life difficult. There are plots and twists and attempted assassinations enough to keep everyone guessing and a wonderful love story just to keep things interesting.
I highly recommend this one to lovers of historical and paranormal fiction. Ms Bridges has merged the two genres seamlessly and the result is a truly promising start to what looks to be a fascinating trilogy. I can't wait to see what happens in volume two.