The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

The Gathering StormThe Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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 still very present with the workings of all that is paranormal that serve in the Russian Court some for the tsar others for their own gain. The political chess match is well played with Katherina stuck right in the middle.

Katherina dreams of being a doctor, with her father well known for his support of the medical field. Her dark gift makes her fear of every reaching her dream at times- the gift to bring the dead back to life. Katherina would rather not even acknowledge her gift until one night she uses it to save the tsar's heir from a spell, bringing her to the light of those who wish to gain power and use Katherina to reach their goal.
At times like Katherina all the glittering balls became very boring, behind all that glitter where you start to witness the silent chess match and power play.
Katherina could play the role of a royal debutante while behind the mask is a smart young woman. She plays her cards and while the deck is sometimes against her, she plays the cards she dealt as best as she can. She's also self-aware, she knows when she's acting dumb or not thinking straight. Katherina has a hard time trying to accept her gift, and the fear she lives under of every being discovered by her family. Many of her fears were very much on point, and her love for her family is wonderful, but can be called her weakness as their used against by those who wish for power and Katherina is their ticket. For the most part I really liked Katherina, raised as she was, she was a true product of her time, while staying to her roots and breaking through the barriers one brick at a time.

Nothing makes a reader- especially this reader- mad then a misleading back blurb. For The Gathering Storm, theirs huge hints of a so-called love triangle between dark and light. There was no such love triangle with more of a hint of romance that grows between Katherina and ONE GUY! The story read more like a paranormal mystery then some dark fae/ light fae trying to win the heart of Katherina. The Dark Prince-Danilo with his fake Maybelline eyelashes used Katherina for his own measure and means threatening Katherina’s family. SO no love lost there.
Katherina’s feelings for George Alexandrovich was very sweet with a growth of trust that later bloom to more. I appreciated the story even that with this romantic growth, then instant love-love seen so much in YA and PN books.

The story at times is slow going giving you hints of a bigger mystery that leads to some heavy suspense. The paranormal is always waiting on the wings to give you a glimpse of what hides underneath from vampires to ghosts.

Of course this is only the first book of the trilogy, and thankfully we’re not left with a cliffhanger. With unanswered questions I look forward to what Robin Bridges has up her writer’s sleeve for this series.

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