It's not great secret that I love historical fiction and The Gathering Storm certainly delivered. Taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia during 1888 you meet Katerina, a young duchess who would prefer studying medical texts to dancing at balls. She's not afraid to speak her mind and as far as certain doctors are concerned, much too nosy. As for her gift, well, you'll learn about it quite quickly--I promise. Her mother--like most at the time--is very interested in seeing her married off and her father I liked immensely as he only wants to see to his daughter's happiness.
Without going into all of the titles used in The Gathering Storm, I'll tell you that I adore the pairing of Katerina and George--if you're wondering who George is, he's the tsarevich's brother and plays an essential role in keeping everyone safe. Perhaps more importantly, he's wary of Katerina at first and I love it when romances aren't instant. On the other hand you have Danilo, the heir of the Montenegro throne who is definitely dark and mysterious. He's definitely not a good guy and I do think that we'll be seeing more of him in the next book--or so I'd imagine.
There's lots of sneaking about, balls, gorgeous gowns, a dash of romance, and a main character who is definitely not a simpering ninny. The plot can seem a little slow at times, but I promise you that things definitely pick up as the book progresses. Overall I really enjoyed The Gathering Storm and if you like historical fictions with a paranormal twist, I'd recommend it to you. However, as this takes place in Russia, do realize that there are a lot of titles and that there are definitely pet names being used--which is actually quite common.
Overall Rating: ★★★★★
The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House.
Release Date: January 10, 2012
* Received for review via publisher and NetGalley.