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The Gathering Storm: The Katerina Trilogy #1    by Robin Bridges order for
Gathering Storm
by Robin Bridges
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

This is the first book in a trilogy that takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia, starting in the fall of 1888. Sixteen-year-old Katerina Alexandra Maria von Holstein, Duchess of Oldenburg, has known since an early age that she is a necromancer. She has the power to bring the dead back to life. Ashamed, she keeps her curse secret from her family and her best friend, Dariya.

Elena Montenegrin, a witch, uses a potion to set a spell on a son of the Imperial family. She sprinkles the potion on his dinner. Katerina uses her power to bring back to life the moths used in Elena's potion. Only Elena and the Grand Duke George Alexandrovich know she revived the dead moths. Elena is impressed. The Duke accuses her of darkness of the soul and reminds her that magic is punishable by exile.

Despite his warning, magic exists in all the royal European families. He needs Katerina's help in safeguarding Russia from those aligned with dark magic. Katrina realizes she can trust no one. Even her relatives have their own agenda.

Katerina is a strong, likable character who is good despite her curse of necromancy. She wants to become a doctor. It's impossible not to give her your support or fear for her when disaster meets her every action.

The Gathering Storm kept me turning pages. However, I found the characters confusing. Frequently the names and the titles were similar and I found myself flipping back to see who a character is and how she's related to the numerous royal families. The magic was a little overdone as well. There are fairies, necromancers, vampires, and zombies, just to mention a few magical elements. All that said, who can resist a historical thriller with a romance thrown in?

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