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The Gathering Storm (Katerina #1)

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3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  3,618 Ratings  ·  589 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 389 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Ember (first published January 10th 2012)
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S.H. Marr Older teenagers. There's some pretty dark violence that may not be great for younger kids.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rane

Set in a time of Russia where the old, superstitions and folklore clash and give away to the new of science and new medicines. The Dark and Light court serve the tsar as old forces that were once banished arise anew, stronger with a young woman Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg deals with her dark ability that may end up saving all she knows and loves.

Robin Bridges could not have set this book at a better time, where old is giving into new ideas and thoughts, but the old ways are sti
...more
Truly Bookish
With the combination of historical and paranormal elements plus a beautiful cover, The Gathering Storm is the kind of book I adore. In theory. In reality, this book did not deliver for me like I wanted it to.

Prior to reading, I though The Gathering Storm was a historical novel with some paranormal elements, but it’s more of a paranormal novel in a historical setting. Almost all the characters are fey, witches, vampires, werewolves, zombies or necromancers with our main character, Katerina being
...more
Torzilla
Sep 25, 2011 Torzilla marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I hate it when I look forward to a book, only to find that it was nothing like what I expected... and in a bad way. THE GATHERING STORM has an interesting premise, however, it disappointed me with its lackluster execution.

Let it be known that a few reviewers have stated on Goodreads that the second half of the novel is where things start to pick up, whereas the first half is dedicated to the numerous balls and social gatherings Katerina attends. Perhaps this is what ultimately contributed to my
...more
Ria
Jan 15, 2012 Ria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5: Basically, I'm fluctuating between a 'like it' and 'it was ok' rating.
The Good:
- I decently liked the main character. I stand by her for sticking to her unrealistic dreams.
- I enjoyed the ball scenes. This may just be the fantasy buff in me, but I could definitely visualize the court goings-on.
- The inner conflict about the necromancy was good.
- I hold historical fiction near and dear to my heart, and the fantasy element was nice.
- The romance was cute (if not downright convenient at t
...more
Surin
Feb 16, 2012 Surin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While it had some interesting concepts, the writing was pretty unpolished and at times dare I say come off as comical. I don't think the author did a good job of blending the paranormal fantasy elements with reality. The introduction of vampires, werewolves and fairies was just so strange I really couldn't take the book seriously at any given time. It almost felt like none of it was real (but it was actually!!) and that characters were just overtly superstitious. The plot itself is confusing and ...more
rameau
Let's look at the blurb. The time and place:

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls...


That right there, ugh, I should hate it. On the other hand it's historical, which I absolutely love, but on the other hand it's Russia and we Finns have a long history with Russians. On the other hand, it's Imperial Russia and the tsar is the son of Alexander II who we Finns love, never mind what he did to the rest of his subjects, we love him. (If you're interested to know why
...more
Katy
Oct 24, 2011 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am very fascinated by the Russian era of the Romanovs so this book was a big hit for me. There were a few things that bothered me (see below) but not enough to drop it down to three stars - maybe more of a 3.5.

I was intrigued by not only by Bridge’s version of royal society but also her story about necromancers, vampires, witches, fairies and all the other paranormal elements.

Lately, I’ve been finding that I’m getting bored of paranormal because the storyline is always the same. I thought Bri
...more
Erin
Aug 21, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

One might be hard-pressed to finish The Gathering Storm without referencing Wikipedia, but it is equally difficult to complete the novel without being entertained by this impressive debut. The book isn’t without flaw, but Bridges’ rich recreation of turn of the century Russia is brilliant and her integration of Gothic folklore and the paranormal, nothing short of fascinating.

At first glance the book seems character heavy. I
...more
The Book Queen
Here's a scenario for you.

You live in a world full of magic, faeries and vampires, Light and Dark Courts. You are warned that a dazzlingly attractive young man is incredibly dangerous, and you are told to stay far away from him for your own safety. You are also given a magical ring that will protect you from the spells he will try to cast upon you, should you ever meet him. Do you...

a) Stay the hell away from him and wear the ring at all times, or
b) Insist the ring has no magical qualities, eve
...more
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
Katiya cries a LOT. I didn't understand how her thoughts were all over the place. How she wanted to get into university to become a doctor, her defiant relationship with her mother, her dislike for the other princesses. There was an instant love connection with Danilo and it was inevitable that Katiya knew she was under a spell. Robin Bridges did an excellent job of portraying a teenager in love or lust in this case. One thing I did notice was the constant swearing in French. Maybe if she mentio ...more
Ashelynn
Jul 29, 2011 Ashelynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Gathering Storm was a different book, that’s for sure. Historical fiction with a touch of paranormal for the paranormal readers delight.

There were many times were I came *this* close to putting down The Gathering Storm, and if I hadn’t been in the car for most of it, I’m pretty sure I would have and not look back. There wasn’t—and still— that much in The Gathering Storm to keep me hooked. I just didn’t care if Katiya figured out a way to get out of the deal she drug herself into thanks to he
...more
Alan
Mar 26, 2012 Alan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, witches, vampires
The short review:
1. To me the female lead (Katerina) isn't a strong female character.
2. There are just too many "beings" in the story.

I liked the idea and setting of the story, Russia during the imperial period, with Faberge and Tchaikowsky and Tostoy. Although there is an endless list of imperial titles.

Katerina, while she starts out looking and feeling like a strong female lead with her desire to become a doctor and continue on in her education, as the story progresses she has too many instanc
...more
Kathleen
Aug 03, 2014 Kathleen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The plot was intriguing and the setting was enchanting but I found myself counting the pages til the last page. I found the main character annoying because of her indecisiveness and her misplaced noble acts. I found her logic and her actions contradictory and based too much on her unreliable and fast changing emotions.

I also found the writing style too distracting. I felt like I was listening to a speech which kept getting cut short every after 5 words. It was annoying. I think the story flow w
...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: The politics of Romanov Russia are brought to a new level–the Dark and Light Faerie courts, intertwined with the Imperial family, are threatened by vampires. The dangerous and multi-layered court life is brought to life in this historical paranormal.

Opening Sentence: Our family tree has roots and branches reaching all across Europe, from France to Russia, from Denmark to Greece, and in several transient and minute kingdoms and principalities
...more
Katherine
More like a 2.5 star rating.

A more appropriate title for this book should me "The Romanovs: Monster Mash Style".

Review coming soon....
Hilda
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 ...more
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
Well, I'm not sure what to think of this one. I should have expected an element of paranormal based on the synopsis, but I didn't anticipate the direction of this one. If Buffy the Vampire slayer went back in time to tell history, that would describe my impression of the book. Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't a terrible read... but it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows either.


I loved the setting. Russia in the 1800s is a fantastic setting for a story. There is just so much that could be done wit
...more
Keely *Keelskilo*
I. Am. So. Confused.

Okay, so....here we are. Russia. Late 1800's...And there are vampires and fairies floating all around the imperial court? Now, that's not the problem. Exactly. The real problem is trying to figure out who knows about the vampires/zombies/werewolves/etc. and who doesn't. Katarina's mother participates in seances where they raise real ghosts. But...she doesn't know her own daughter is a necromancer??? It's very difficult to try and keep track of who is on what side and the way
...more
Kelly
May 14, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gathering Storm is the first in the Katerina Trilogy by Robin Bridges. The trilogy blends historical fiction with the paranormal, and is set in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the late 19th century.

Bridges immerses us in an evocative setting. The pageantry of the Russian court is combined with that hard-to-describe fairy tale mood. Even though we see through the eyes of a heroine who doesn't really like all the pageantry, we are swept away into a world that is elegant but filled with dark secrets
...more
Kimberly
Feb 22, 2012 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gathering Storm is the debut novel of Robin Bridges and the first in her Katerina Trilogy. Bridges' paranormal novel delivers, from the historical aspects of Russia to the supernatural. This was a delightful tale of vampires, fairies, werewolves, witches, necromancers and other supernatural creatures. A combination of Russian history and folklore make this an exciting, addictive read.

The protagonist Is Katerina Alexandrovna, she is the Duchess of Oldenburg, residing in Russia during the reig
...more
Diana
Jan 21, 2012 Diana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Robin Bridges’ debut novel, The Gathering Storm, is the first installment in a planned trilogy that centers on Katerina Alexandrovna of Oldenburg. Katerina is a debutante, descendant of Catherine the Great, and a necromancer. She attends the Smolny Institute, a boarding school for girls. Amongst her peers are the princesses of Montenegro, who discover her dark secret when she uses her skills to protect the heir of Czar Alexander III. Soon, she is entangled in a web of political intrigue mingled ...more
Jill Myles
May 28, 2011 Jill Myles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read an early version and this is such a cool, unique book. It's a fabulous concept - a teenage noble in Czarist Russia who can raise the dead and has necromancy powers. There's a lot of hidden, dark magic in Katerina's world and it's just fabulous and engrossing and a little bit spooky. I can't wait for this one to come out. :)
Theresa
Jul 17, 2014 Theresa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF.
Evie
Jun 27, 2011 Evie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Gathering Storm is a book full of surprises. Part historical fiction, part romance and part paranormal, it's a head-spinning and eye-popping tale of light and dark, good and evil, loyalty and treason, love, hate and everything in between. Russian folklore, Gothic creatures, crazy plot developments, gorgeous settings and a whole cast of magnificent historical figures - this novel has it all! Prepare to be dazzled!

Set in St. Petersburg in 1888, when the Dark Court rivals the Light Court and t
...more
Jennifer Rinehart
Duchess Katerina Alexandrovna is very different from your average teen heroine. She goes to balls and is escorted through the snowy streets in a horse drawn sled. Her closest friends are other young royals and she is being groomed to marry into one of the royal families. Her days are filled with dance lessons, embroidery and fantastical clothing, oh, also witches, fae, vampires, werewolves, undead soldiers and evil scheming suitors.

So, really, her life is completely unlike my own. But in spite o
...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Robin Bridges brings a whole new life to 1880's Russia with her novel about a young, aristocratic, female necromancer. This is a novel that was another slow-starter for me. I was mildly interested and intrigued by Bridges' magically fantastical and dangerous world set in St. Petersburg, but I wasn't well and truly hooked until late in the game - when I was about 300 pages into the novel and less than a hundred from the end. With a disquieting introduction featuring and honing in on the young Kat ...more
Nafiza
Apr 28, 2012 Nafiza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a confession: I am completely enamored by stories set in imperial Russia. There is something so attractive about the tsars, duchesses, princesses and other royalty that inevitably dot the landscapes of these novels. The sleds instead of carriages, beautiful dresses, lights, the attractive love interests and if you throw in magic…well, you’ve got me. The Gathering Storm is a strong beginning to a trilogy by debut novelist Robin Bridges. I liked the fantastic breadth of the novel and there ...more
Kara-karina
Feb 12, 2012 Kara-karina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5
I always approach authors writing about Russia or Russians with great trepidation, because there are very few of them who really know what they are talking about. The majority is happy with dancing bears and rivers of vodka. Robin Bridges, on the other hand, I loved!

I know a lot of people complained about difficult names and bizarre ceremonies, but to be honest, I haven't noticed any of that. Robin Bridges took a beautiful period in Russian history on the verge of great changes and created
...more
RJ
Sep 04, 2012 RJ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Robin Bridges is the most talented author I have read this year, and I say this with not an ounce of sarcasm (although my rating of this book might indicate otherwise).
The Gathering Storm had me hooked from start to finish, and I read it in 2 sittings. I simply had to finish it. I had to know what happened next; how it would end; whether I'd have to wait breathlessly for a sequel so I could know what happened.
Thankfully I don't need to because the story, while clearly designed to accommodate a
...more
Harley
2.25/5 Stars
I don't know why i had such a hard time with this book(well actually I have some ideas) but we just did not get along. The entire time I was reading this I was just praying that it would end soon. I ma very disapointwd with how it turned out.

What I didn't like:
1. The time period it was set it. While reading it did not feel like Russia in 1888, but more like closer to the turn of the 21st century. I wish it would have been translated better. It would have made the atmosphere and tone
...more
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By day, Robin Bridges is a mild mannered writer of young adult fiction. By night, she is a pediatric nurse, poking small children with needles for a living. She lives on the Gulf Coast with her family and an ever-growing menagerie of cats, dogs, tropical fish, and parrots. But alas, she still does not have a unicorn.
More about Robin Bridges...

Other Books in the Series

Katerina (3 books)
  • The Unfailing Light (Katerina, #2)
  • The Morning Star (Katerina, #3)

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“Give me one year.Give me a year to prove to you that we belong together. That your darkness won't blot out my light. Promise me” 18 likes
“All romances ended exactly the same way: a girl realized the surly boy she had hated all along was the only person in the universe who could complete her soul. I did not believe for a minute that my soul could be completed by some surly boy. And I would not wish my curse to harm anyone else. So how could I dare long for love?” 12 likes
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