Published by Ember 2012
Book One in Katerina Trilogy
Source: The Europe YA Map published by Fierce Reads (heard about it), book from Library
Bookologists Analysis: The Gathering Storm is the embodiment of my new obsession of historical fantasy. I liked the new take on the vampire myth and inclusion of fae courts. I can probably now chalk up the rest of the romance, but the plot with the question of necromancy will be interesting to explore in Unfailing Light.
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--and pulled between two young men who belong to very different and warring royal bloodlines. The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power as a necromancer, but which side will she choose--and to whom will she give her heart?
The Gathering Storm definitely had a kickass heroine that was at first timid then knows that she can’t let her powers control her. Katerina has hopes of attending medical school; but she can’t do that because Russia doesn’t allow women to attend medical school, so she goes to find one in Switzerland. She had a proposal with Danilo who is beautifully viciously dark, but realizes despite the darkness in herself she is drawn to the light, so she turns her back on the dark. Being a necromancer isn’t really the best surprise, but Katerina going and fighting the evil residing in her because it doesn't feel right. I really enjoy feeling the vibe of girl power in a time just when women’s rights were blossoming. The book also explores the definition of gray area between good and evil, seduction and love, and dreams and reality.
The Gathering Storm is also about drawing something in. I mean you feel the wonderful
worldbuilding with tenseness between Light and the Dark Court. The fact that the book takes place in Russia is a huge bonus, but with the addition of the visit to Montenegro (that’s what I’m considering it in the Europe Challenge 2014). You feel the shock of learning about the supernatural world and its intrigue (Montenegrins are idiots- lesson from the book). Thankfully it was still easy to follow all these new complex characters like Danilo (why must there always be a love triangle), George (another arrogant royal boy), Elana (there’s a reason it was called Mean Girls), and Katerina (what would a book be without a main character). Throughout, the book I had to remind myself that the book was not real, but rather a world built upon glittering royalty and under the hand traded fae secrets.
I felt frustrated though by the lack of growth after the middle of the book. I felt by then I was comfortable enough to be able to predict the book. I could tell you which guy Katerina would choose. You could tell who was evil and who the heavenly angel was. I will tell you however that the book didn’t hit a complete wall there. After that I felt the book was okay, but not terrific.
This book throughout itself made you see the mess of humanity and the unnatural (what the supernatural is called). It makes you see that fantasy really isn’t fantasy, but rather a group of people with messy situations put in some weird incredible worlds who try to do their best. The Gathering Storm really spoke to the truth in that and how despite books being fantastical they're also about people based on their feelings and lives. Rating: «««« ¼