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The Katerina Trilogy, Vol. II: The Unfailing Light (Katerina Trilogy (Library)) Library Binding – October 9, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Katerina Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ROBIN BRIDGES's previous YA novel is The Gathering Storm, Volume I in the Katerina Trilogy.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Katerina Trilogy (Library) (Book 2)
  • Library Binding: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038590830X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385908306
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,716,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Evie Seo TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
An enticing sequel to a fabulous and exciting series that instantly became one of my favourites. Robin Bridges does not disappoint. Once again she has crafted a mesmerizing, imaginative and entirely unique story that - and I kid you not - is even better that the explosive mix she enthralled us with in the first volume.

The Unfailing Light picks up more or less where the The Gathering Storm left off. After the battle with the lich tsar Konstantin, Katiya enjoyed a few weeks of peace. All she really wants now is to forget about the darkness inside her and move away to Zurich to pursue her medical career. Just when she's about to leave Russia, she discovers that the lich tsar Konstantin has not been destroyed after all. There's a traitor among the wizard of the Order, someone supporting Konstantin and plotting against the tsar. Katiya's life is once again in great danger. Ordered to remain in St. Petersburg, Katiya goes back to her old school at Smolny. But will she be truly safe there? What she doesn't yet know is that the protective spell cast on the school by the empress unleashed an old vengeful spirit and, while no threat from the outside can get in to harm her, she herself is unable to leave the school to escape the murderous ghost.

WOW! What a wild ride that was! Robin Bridges does a fantastic job interweaving Russian history and folklore with paranormal elements. She makes the already fascinating Imperial Russia even more sparkly, glamorous, sinister and dangerous! I loved reading about all the new dangers and challenges that our characters had to face. In addition to the already familiar threats - the lich tsar and the evil plottings of the Dark Court - Katiya also has to confront a vengeful ghost that is wreaking havoc at Smolny.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When Katerina Alexandrovna discovers that the Tsar himself has decided she must postpone going to medical school in Austria and instead return to Smolny Institute, a finishing school in St. Petersburg and the site of the first book in this series, I was just as disappointed as she was. It felt like a step backward to both of us. Being a necromancer with the ability to raise the dead gives Katerina dark powers she wishes she didn't have, but she was able to use her powers to save the life of the Tsar in The Gathering Storm, and now he wants to keep her close and safe.

It turns out though, that being stuck back at Smolny is anything but safe and boring. There's a ghost having violent tantrums in the library, a powerful fae cook with uncertain loyalties, and an undead army in charge of guarding the school. Set during 1889 when the future Nicholas II, the final Tsar of Russia, was the teenage heir to the throne, the imperial family is here divided into paranormal light and dark courts, with historical figures making up some of the fairies, wizards, werewolves and vampires. Nicholas II's future bride, Alexandra or Alix, is one of Katerina's roommates. Both of the love interests from the last book, the enigmatic George Alexandrovich, middle son of the current tsar, and the untrustworthy vampire Prince Danilo of Montenegro, manage to complicate Katerina's life in spite of the walls that separate them from her. Katerina herself is still learning to control her powers and making mistakes with sometimes long term consequences.

I read The Unfailing Light with just as much fervor as The Gathering Storm, and as with that earlier book I only paused willingly to look up more information on the fascinating historical characters and incidents that are skillfully incorporated into the plot.
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Format: Hardcover
When I finished my review of the first book of this series, I mentioned that despite my problems with the first book I wanted the second one because I had hopes Bridges would settle into the story and much more of it would make sense.

My prayers were answered.

I was deeply worried I wasn't going to be able to remember much from the first book and that I had done this review a deep disservice by forgetting to bring book 1 to college with me. I was genuinely surprised to find that the first part of the book did a really good job summerizing the events of book 1 while not dragging down the new events of book 2. Usually, this is not the case when authors do make the decision to remind the reader of what happened in the previous book.

As predicted, the ending of the last book was far too tidy and didn't come to pass in this one. (The blurb tells you this.) Honestly, I was kind of annoyed that Katerina had to go back to Smolney after the global adventure I thought I was promised by the end of book one. The characters that surround her there were underdeveloped and flat in the last book and were the same in this one. (I also just don't like school settings. Far too many clichés.)

Still, I found myself enjoying the beginning just because I felt more secure in what was happening. Bridges has severely paired down on the mythology that's sprung on the reader and we're given much more time to understand what all the different Russian folklore names are and mean. The differences in vampires and fae were made much clearer, and the werewolf connection was greatly expanded. My heart rejoiced.

At the same time, I have no idea why Katerina's powers are downplayed for most of the book.
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