The Gathering Storm
by Robin Bridges
The Katerina Trilogy, book one
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? (Description from Amazon.com)
This book was very intriguing and yet at points it was also frustrating.
I liked the idea of the Russian aristocracy being filled with paranormal beings and I loved Katerina as the main character. She was strong and her power was interesting. I thought that the emotional roller coaster that Katerina experiences as events unfolds was very realistic.
What frustrated me, though, were the Russian titles. The author explains that each aristocrat would have a formal title and then a nickname, but to try to keep track of all the different princesses and counts was confusing at times. It took until I was more than halfway through the book before I was able to easily distinguish the different MAIN characters of the book.
Aside from that, I ended up enjoying this book a lot. The historical setting was vibrant and beautiful. The types of vampires and necromancers were interesting to read about... I definitely plan to continue the trilogy when I get time.