THE GATHERING STORM
In the first book in the Katerina trilogy, Bridges blends Russian fairy tales with 19th-century Russian history and creates a magical tale. The flaw in this novel is the number of characters. Names and information begin to blur and readers may quickly lost track of who is who.
In 1880 Russia Katiya attends the Smolny Institute for Girls, where she learns dancing and other feminine arts. Truthfully though, she yearns to study medicine and become a doctor, but that is not a proper occupation for a lady of the Russian nobility. Not to mention the fact that Katiya can, well, raise the dead. Though she detests necromancy, when she uses her power to save lives she realizes that nothing is simply black or white. When the vampire power struggle in St. Petersburg grows, the Montenegrin family of witches and vampires comes after her. Katiya must choose to embrace the darkness and serve her beloved Russia before it’s too late to save herself and the people she loves the most. (DELACORTE, Jan., 400 pp., $17.99, HC, ISBN: 9780385740227, 12 & Up)