Book 3 (Book 1: The Gathering Storm, Book 2: The Unfailing Light)
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.
I love this series. It is beautifully written and the setting is so captivating that takes you right into the time period and country. What I love about these books is the diverse range of character types and characters as well as the fact that you are transported to the locations Katerina goes to. We get a very clear picture on Egypt from that time period which was really neat but I don’t like the deviation away from Russia. I loved the very Russian feel of the first book and I just wished that this book could have remained in the country. Katerina for the most part seemed like a helpless heroine all the time. I liked that she wants to study medicine and her dreams are so strong that she is never deterred from fulfilling it but she also had a calling as a necromancer and she never answered it or wanted anything to do with it. George Alexandrovich was barely in the book and I wanted more of him with Katerina because they both seem so complete and stronger when they are together. I liked having more Danilo but he was blurred so much with Konstantin that it was hard to separate the two. A lot of the book felt rushed and a little bit of a cheat. For example the return of someone past dead made Katerina no long necessary, Danilo’s decision at the end, zombie creatures barely made any appearance or difference, why introduce the Gregori (though I like the lore) when they didn’t do much, and the battle wasn’t very big or epic like I hoped. I didn’t like the end of the book since it seemed boring. I do love this series and would definitely recommend it.