Today, as Part One of The Unfailing Light tour stop at Imaginary Reads, I have for you my review of the book. Tomorrow, I will be posting my interview with Robin Bridges along with a giveaway for The Unfailing Light.
The Unfailing Light (Katerina Trilogy #2)
by Robin Bridges
5 stars: Trilogy is still going strong!
Publication: October 9, 2012
Author: website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Younger Readers
Buy it: Amazon Hardcopy | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository
Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She's about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia's arch nemesis--who she thought she'd destroyed--is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She'll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina's horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in.
I am as much in love with Katerina's story as when I finished book one. Katya is still as independent and inquisitive as ever--and still far from safe. After discovering that Russia's greatest nemesis is still alive in the grey, Katya is confined to the old finishing school she thought she had finally left behind. With her necromancer powers blooming, Katiya has also become a threat to the stability of the empress's home, as the empress wants to keep George in the Light Court, and his love for Katya threatens to pull him to the Dark Court. Still, George and Katya are still very much in love and looking for a way to be together.
As I mentioned in my review of book one, Robin Bridges has created a fascinating world. In the Katerina books, Robin has given new life to familiar creatures of myth, among them vampires, werewolves, faeries, while casting a magical light on court life in Russia. She has also stirred up so much intrigue that, with all the power struggles going on, you don't know who you can trust, other than Katya. Even George is suspect, though he was so noble in the first book. All this has been interwoven so skillfully throughout the novel that it continues to move at a strong pace without getting bogged down in too much detail.
Even while introducing new plot lines, The Unfailing Light continues to develop the characters introduced in book one and set the stage for the third book in the Katerina trilogy, though not as much as in the first book. Danilo is an ever (disturbing) presence at the back of Katya's mind, new friendships are formed, and new enemies unmasked. I missed Dariya's presence in this book, as she doesn't have as much stage time as in the first book, but I did appreciate Princess Alix's role in this one. There are some moments when her loyalties become questionable, but I warmed up to her by the end of the book. I even feel some sympathy for Danilo's sisters (not so much for the prince himself).
My only wish is that the ghost plot line were more developed, as I was expecting more from it after reading the synopsis. I can't complain much though, as ghosts will appear in their own sweet time, and Katya is still in the process of understanding her abilities. As I mentioned earlier, this book has set the stage for the greater conflict to take place in the third book, and I absolutely cannot wait to read it!
An ARC was provided by the publisher for review purposes