Kirkus ReviewsIn the sequel to The Gathering Storm (2012), the tsar forces Katerina to put aside her ambition to attend medical college and return to Smolny Institute for another year of finishing school, immersing her in the dangerous paranormal intrigue of the Russian court. Since the blood bond created with vampiric Prince Danilo in the previous effort, he now has access to her thoughts, but Katerina knows better than to trust this handsome royal. Her thoughts are centered instead on Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, but he's been sent to Paris to acquire a better understanding of magic, and besides, he's aligned with the Light Court and she's tied to the Dark. Thanks to her inborn talent as a necromancer, she can reanimate the dead at will. Now, in spite of a protective spell cast over Smolny Institute, an evil spirit has taken over the library, threatening students and staff. Katerina is determined to resolve the situation. The pace is deliberately slow; readers will have to be sustained by Bridges' complex worldbuilding rather than any rapidly rising level of suspense, although the climax is satisfyingly perilous. Given the back story's complexity, the second volume cannot stand alone. Katerina's first-person voice is smart and believable, fitting well into this atmospheric romance. The simmering tale never quite reaches the boiling point, but fans will nonetheless yearn for the conclusion. (Paranormal romance. 11 & up)
PARTCULARS OF THE BOOK :
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Random House Children's
Genre: YA Fiction/Paranormal
Series: Volume II of III
Author Robin Bridges
Find out more: Author
Purchase the book here: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Who Is The Author?
I think I’ve been writing since before I was old enough to write. My mom has a poem I dictated to her when I was five:
- “When you are a baby, you are a little seed.
When you are a child, you are a little bud.
When you are a grown-up, you are a beautiful rose.
And when you are old, the wind blows your petals away.”
I stuck with writing poetry until seventh grade, when I wrote my first novel, a hundred-plus page mystery written on notebook paper, called “The Tunnel Murders”. I don’t think there was a single murder in it, actually. It was more like a bad soap opera rip-off. With smooching scenes! I can’t believe I let my grandmother read it.
In high school, I was more interested in being a rock star and a movie actress than being a writer. I kept a journal and I wrote lots of horrible songs with obscure lyrics. A little too obscure, perhaps. Blood and dragons were mentioned a lot. And no, I will not post any of my song lyrics here for your amusement.
During our senior year, a group of us published our poems in a chapter book, titled Revolutionary Pen and Ink. It led to a short-lived lit magazine, named Back Alley Review. We were interviewed in Coast Magazine! We were famous! Umm, or not.
I went to college and studied theater. One day in Fundamentals of Acting, our teacher held up a picture of a bunch of rocks and told us to write a scene based on that picture. Two hours and seven pages later, the class was over and I was still sitting in that tiny arena theater writing a short story about a girl who grew up in Hollywood and met Lucille Ball. I’m not sure how I got from rocks to Lucille Ball- but I should have known that day I was in the wrong major. It wasn't long before I switched to English and began down the path of becoming a Serious Writer. I wrote serious and depressing literary short stories until I finished school and began teaching seventh graders. Two revelations occurred to me then:
- 1. I was not meant to teach middle school.
2. I was not meant to write literary adult fiction.
(And then I went back to school for a nursing degree because I really like to eat.)
Then I wrote my first YA paranormal. I got an agent. The book didn't sell. I had an idea for a book but I was scared I wasn't ready to write it. I wrote another instead. It didn't sell. I decided to write the scary book idea, a fantasy about a girl growing up in Imperial Russia. The agent didn't think it would sell. I got a new agent. We revised this book over and over before submitting to publishers. It didn't sell. We revised it again. And it sold. Along with its two sequels.
The Bookish Dame Reviews :
This would make a dazzling little Disney movie with darling Russian characters that give it zing. Abounding in light magic, faerie arts and witches, not to mention blood thirsty beauties and the darkness of ghosts and wolves, this book is a treasure trove of the paranormal. After all, what's Russian myth and magical tales without wolves and faeries? I loved this book as an escape.
A nearly unattainable love between Katerina and her Grand Duke, George will pull at your heart reminding you of the pains of young love hindered by unaccepting parents. And, the unwanted attachment and pesky attention of the boy from the dark side adds another dimension to twist the story. The villians are many and fill this story with imaginative action. Such fun to read!
Katiya just wanted to go to med. school to become a regular doctor when the tsar and associated aristocracy expected her to be contented with her naturally selected role as court Necromancer. Of course she did! Hurray for her and the role model Robin Bridges develops through the novel. This brought the book into a future dimension for today's young women.
While this is a wonderful YA novel which can be entertaining in and of itself, it would be more adviseable and best served if you'd read the first book in the trilogy: "Katerina..." That one lays the groundwork and sets the characters. As a single read, it may be a bit confusing.
However, if you'd like a fairytale trip to Russia amongst the royal tsarist court of the 1800's in an imaginary paranormal setting, read "The Unfailing Light." It's a treasure.
4 stars Deborah/TheBookishDame
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