At First Sight: Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg is a debutante in the St. Petersburg Court of 1888, while on the outside she looks like any other rich young woman trying to catch a rich, noble husband, she has a dangerous and dark secret: she's a necromancer.
And, as it turns out, she's surrounded by magic and strange things, plots to control and possibly destroy the Imperial family; and she's in the center of everything, caught between the duty to her country, the wishes of her family and the people trying to expose her secrets.
Second Glance: The Gathering Storm sounded like quite an adventure and I have a particular fondness for all things Russia, but try as I may, I just couldn't like this book.
I can't really go into many details because I don't want to spoil the book for those who do want to read it but I felt like I was dropped in the middle of an already on-going situation, where there hadn't been much of a set up so I could understand, I was then given a lot of useless information but told really little about what was happening.
Plus, I wasn't sure how serious people were about the whole magic thing and what was simple superstition- like I didn't know the actual standard for the regular people, did they believe or didn't they? it was never quite clear - and I think the involvement of 'real' historical characters - or sketches of them - were in detriment to the story because it just made it That Much Harder to believe.
Bottom Line: I don't think the Gathering Storm did a good job of launching the Katerina Chronicles, since it was rather confusing and offered very little information to keep you hooked - in my opinion - I did like some of the characters, though. The Gathering Storm comes out January 10th, 2012.1/2