Set in the late 1800s in Russia, The Gathering Storm follows Katerina Alexandrovna, a young duchess surrounded by royalty and luxurious balls while trying to hide a secret she has – that she can raise the dead. When she’s forced to use her power to save another royal, it catches the attention of many. Katerina finds herself conflicted with what she wants and what is best for her family. Opposing families are vying for Katerina’s necromancy powers for their own agendas and she must figure out which side is the one she can trust.
The premise is an interesting one, with the history and detail seemingly well-researched. (I say seemingly, only because I personally don’t know enough about that time period to say it was or wasn’t) The flow of the narrative is a fairly easy one to follow and moves along quite nicely. The one thing I found a bit confusing was keeping track of who was who. Bridges has a preface in the beginning explaining how people are named at this time, etc. but all the names/nicknames/titles being used was a bit hard to follow.
I liked that Katerina is a strong female character. Even when she’s the subject of male attention or facing interference from her elders, she still holds firm to her ambitions to become a doctor. I loved the mix of historical fiction with a bit of paranormal twist to it. However, the cover doesn’t do the book justice. Judging by the cover (and I know you shouldn’t do that, but we all do), I had quite a different idea on what the book was like. Pleasantly surprised though.
The first in a trilogy, The Gathering Storm is filled with action and intrigue. A great set-up to the next two installments.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5/5 stars)
The Gathering Storm is now available in stores.
I received this eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.