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The Gathering Storm

(Katerina #1)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  3,984 ratings  ·  615 reviews
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 use ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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S.H. Marr Older teenagers. There's some pretty dark violence that may not be great for younger kids.…moreOlder teenagers. There's some pretty dark violence that may not be great for younger kids.(less)

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Average rating 3.60  · 
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Truly Bookish
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 25, 2011 marked it as did-not-finish
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
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
The Book Queen
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
Masako Lin
Feb 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
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
Oct 24, 2011 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
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
kiwi kili
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
I. Am. So. Confused.

Okay, 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
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
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
just kat
Aug 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Dark Faerie Tales
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-by-emmy
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 in
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
May 14, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Feb 22, 2012 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
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 rated it it was amazing
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. :) ...more
Jul 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Edy || Hex
I can describe the plot only using the word 'silly'. Everything was silly. Characters were silly. Tsar was the greatest good ever walking on Earth. Vampires were bad and so were Montenegrin characters. Katerina Aleksandrovna wanted to become a doctor and nothing could stop her.

I kind of... enjoyed that book? For its silliness I think. And probably for the fact that it was set in Russia (even if too idealised) and somehow managed to get that magic out. Maybe I'm just too old for such books.
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad for a debut author. 2.5 *, but I round up for Goodreads. I'll probably read the next in the series. I do like the folklore elements that have been incorporated into the book. ...more
Jennifer Rinehart
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Lavish in its descriptions of Imperial Russia, the world of Katerina Alexandrovna is one that anyone with an interest in the country or time period will want to dive into. Readers will be captivated by Robin Bridge’s stunning depictions of real historical figures and places and find themselves caught up in the whirlwind supernatural mystery.

What I loved most about The Gathering Storm was that it made me feel as if I was part of Katerina’s world. From the glittering balls and palacial
Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛


I was prepared to love this book and gush over it and love it and fawn over it like crazy. I mean, it's set in the freaking Russian Empire! These books are an exception, not the rule.

There are so many things wrong with this book I can't even describe them. But let's try, shall we? The first thirty pages or so were terrible because of the so-called 'social commentary' on rich people. The main character does nothing but bitch and moan and whine about how she's rich and a Duch
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
Apr 28, 2012 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
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
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The Young Adult H...: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges - July Group Read 12 25 Aug 15, 2013 07:14PM  

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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.

Other books in the series

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

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