The Morning Star (Katerina #3) by Robin Bridges
Publishers: Random House
Published Date: August 27th 2013
My rating: 5 out of 5
A huge thank you to Nicole of Random House for
letting me review this book to give my honest opinion.
St. Petersburg, Russia, 1890
Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, wants to be known as a doctor, not a necromancer. But Tsar Alexander III forbids women to attend medical school; his interest in Katerina extends only to her ability to raise the dead. Twice now, Katerina has helped him by using her power to thwart the forces of darkness—vampires bent on resurrecting the lich tsar Konstantin Pavlovich so that he can take what he sees as his rightful place on the throne. Katerina thought she had bound Konstantin to the Greylands, the realm of the dead, but he has found a way out. Now he is searching for the Morning Star, a sword that will allow him to command a legion of supernatural warriors.
Katerina must find the sword before Konstantin does—and she must travel to Egypt to do so. Along the way, she puts up with unwanted attention from her former fiancé, the nefarious Prince Danilo, and struggles with her feelings for her true love, George Alexandrovich. But with the looming threat from Konstantin, Katerina's focus remains on the sword. Russia's fate will be determined by whoever wields the Morning Star—and delivers the final blow.
It's such a happy and sad moment when you reach the end of such an exciting series. The Katerina Trilogy is one of my all time favourite reads and I've read the first two books many times in eagerness, quietly waiting for the third and last book. I had so many expectations of what would happen. Would George be cured of his mystery illness? Would Katiya and George finally be able to marry? What would happen with the Lich Tsar and would they be able to finally get rid of his evilness from the face of the earth to let everyone live in peace at last? And what of Danilo, evil Crown Prince that he is. His plans may have been scuppered for now but he was surely going to make a return to finish off Grand Duke George for good. Now that Katiya's secret is out what would happen when the rest of her close family knew of her secret, being a necromancer would never be a story for the relations to discuss over afternoon tea.
What I truly loved about this series was the extensive research that Robin Bridges must be commended for. Anything to do with the Imperial family of Russia intrigues me, and Robin has had me researching the true stories of the family for my own personal pleasure. It was clear from the outset after reading The Gathering Storm that this series would be exquisitely represented as the characters deserved--in their true proper, elegant, and magnificent manner.
So, if you enjoy tales of intrigue wrapped around evenings of dinners, dances, with a bit of paranormal romance and mystery, then I must urge you to pick up this series.
In the final chapter of the Trilogy we are brought into a scene with Katiya doing what she wants to do most, and that is to study medicine to become a Doctor. I really loved her ambitiousness even when faced with such close relatives who would try and talk her out of it. At one point she even contemplated breaking off her arrangement with George to further her studies and her heart broke as did mine. They're meant to be together after all!
But even in the face of danger, Katiya and George decide to forego all the family's wishes to get married in secret. Once they're married then no one can interfere with their livelihoods any longer. George agrees that he might be struck off by his father, Tsar Alexander III, but he's willing to move to Zurich to enable Katiya to study at the University.
However, the past never stays away for long and disaster happens shortly after they leave. The evil Lich Tsar is looking for the one true Morning Star which will enable him to take control of the Grigori and using the Talisman of Isis (which is permanently around Katiya's neck) he can have what he believes is rightfully his--the throne of Russia.
Once again the story becomes a battle of Light against the Dark. The two Russian courts are involved, the Order of Lazarus (the revenants), Princess Alix and her werewolves, the Montenegran Vampires, Katiya's own Mother (who is now the Striga) and the Bogatyr. If ever there was a story that included all these magical creatures to their fullest it was this one! The only thing missing was unicorns!
We're taken on a thrilling journey of capture and conquest through Ancient Egypt and meet up with new and old friends. With magic now such a huge part of George's life I was never in any doubt that he would find Katiya eventually.
The final chapter was a heart in mouth moment. And a surprising gesture saved the day. I loved how it ended with all loose ends nicely tied up, and once finished I had to read the whole book again just to enjoy it one more time.
I really hope the author can bring us more from her wonderful world she's created using the historical people and sumptuous scenery. I feel like I'm waving goodbye as I finish this review but I'm so glad I read this series. And I can't not mention the wonderful Family Tree of all the characters on Robin Bridges website!
If you like historical books especially ones to do with royalty mixed with the paranormal and things that go bump in the night then this series is a must.