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The Unfailing Light (The Katerina Trilogy Series #2)

The Unfailing Light (The Katerina Trilogy Series #2)

4.5 8
by Robin Bridges

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Lush and opulent, romantic and sinister, The Unfailing Light, Volume II in The Katerina Trilogy, reimagines the lives of Russia's aristocracy in a fabulously intoxicating and page-turning fantasy.

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


Lush and opulent, romantic and sinister, The Unfailing Light, Volume II in The Katerina Trilogy, reimagines the lives of Russia's aristocracy in a fabulously intoxicating and page-turning fantasy.

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.

"Katerina's first-person voice is smart and believable, fitting well into this atmospheric romance."—Kirkus Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Natalie Gurr
Katerina Alexandrovona is a necromancer. She has already saved the tsar of Russia once and now he is loathe to part with her. While aching to leave Russia and fulfill her dream of attending medical school, she is forced to remain and attend another year of finishing school. A powerful spell is placed over the school to keep Katerina safe, but it also unleashes a frightful ghost whose vengeful attitude threatens all the students. Katerina is trying to determine the extent of her powers, protect her friends from a willful ghost, and determine her feelings for George Alexandrovich. Her powers belong to the Dark Court, but her heart resides in the Light. The Unfailing Light is volume two in the "Katerina Trilogy" and continues from where The Gathering Storm left off. Bridges writing improves in the second volume and she eliminates most of the superfluous characters, which makes for a more coherent read. Set in the heart of Russia, Katerina's story is part fantasy and part history with just the right touch of magic. The characters are believable and Katerina is a likable heroine. Young adult readers will be fascinated with the rich setting and complex plot. Reviewer: Natalie Gurr
VOYA - Gwen Amborski
The Unfailing Light is a suitable second book in The Katerina Trilogy. The characters and plot follow right along with the first book. It carries a slow pace in certain parts. Many more paranormal sightings and activities are added in this second book, which may frustrate some readers. Readers who enjoy any type of paranormal or Victorian-based novels will enjoy The Unfailing Light. 3Q, 4P. Ages 12 to 18.
VOYA - Adrienne Amborski
Set in Russia’s Imperial Court of St. Petersburg in 1889, The Unfailing Light is the second installment in the Katerina Trilogy. Katiya, a seventeen-year-old duchess, wants to break free from the conventions of her class and gender to become a doctor. She harbors a secret talent--she is a necromancer--and her ability to raise the dead is in high demand with the Light and Dark Faerie forces that rule over the tsar’s court. In the first book, The Gathering Storm (Delacorte, 2012/Voya June online), a premarital blood ceremony binds her to the evil vampire prince, Danilo. Now, Katiya has broken her engagement to Danilo but they remain telepathically united, causing Katiya’s thoughts to be invaded. While Katiya battles between her yearning to become a doctor and her attraction to George Alexandrovich, the unattainable tsar’s son, the upheaval in the imperial court is escalating to a breaking point. Needing Katiya’s necromancer power, the empress of the Light Court has cast a protective spell, trapping Katiya in the Smolny Institute for Young Noble Maidens, the elite boarding school that she attends. Katiya must decide who her allies are and overcome the evil forces that are threatening St. Petersburg and the imperial court. At times, this novel introduces too many characters with such a wide scope of paranormal elements that the reader is left confused. Readers need to read the first book to thoroughly grasp the story line. Bridges does an admirable job with setting and character development, with a resilient female protagonist. The popularity of paranormal romance and the rich setting will appeal to teen readers who enjoy this genre. Readers of Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy or Joy Preble’s Dreaming Anastasia series will enjoy this series. Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The teenaged Duchess of Oldenburg, Katerina Alexandrovna, continues to come to terms with her necromantic powers and her forbidden love for George Alexandrovitch, son of the tsar, who is now training to become the Koldun, the tsar's chief wizard. She must also battle a dangerous ghost that is haunting her finishing school and an undead tsar who wishes to return to power. Set in an alternate 1889 Russia where magic is real and St. Petersburg's population includes faeries, werewolves, and several different kinds of vampires, this volume has many of the same strengths and weaknesses as the previous book in the series. The setting is fascinating and quite different from what we have seen in other YA paranormal fiction. Readers will find themselves turning to Wikipedia to find out more about Russian history and the historical characters who appear in the novel. However, there are occasional odd anachronisms, and often the supernatural world-building is vague. Sometimes the residents of St. Petersburg seem matter-of-fact about magic, and at other times it seems to be secret and forbidden. It is never quite clear why Katerina is so reluctant to learn more about her powers, or why she wants to become a doctor. Purchase where the first volume is popular.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
In the sequel to The Gathering Storm (2012), the tsar forces Katerina to put aside her ambition to attend medical college and return to Smolny Institute for another year of finishing school, immersing her in the dangerous paranormal intrigue of the Russian court. Since the blood bond created with vampiric Prince Danilo in the previous effort, he now has access to her thoughts, but Katerina knows better than to trust this handsome royal. Her thoughts are centered instead on Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, but he's been sent to Paris to acquire a better understanding of magic, and besides, he's aligned with the Light Court and she's tied to the Dark. Thanks to her inborn talent as a necromancer, she can reanimate the dead at will. Now, in spite of a protective spell cast over Smolny Institute, an evil spirit has taken over the library, threatening students and staff. Katerina is determined to resolve the situation. The pace is deliberately slow; readers will have to be sustained by Bridges' complex worldbuilding rather than any rapidly rising level of suspense, although the climax is satisfyingly perilous. Given the back story's complexity, the second volume cannot stand alone. Katerina's first-person voice is smart and believable, fitting well into this atmospheric romance. The simmering tale never quite reaches the boiling point, but fans will nonetheless yearn for the conclusion. (Paranormal romance. 11 & up)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Katerina Trilogy Series , #2
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

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

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The Unfailing Light (The Katerina Trilogy Series #2) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
kimba88 More than 1 year ago
4.5 rating As one of my most highly anticipated books of 2012, I was delighted to step back in time to 1889 and visit the Russian Imperial Court in St. Petersburg. As the second installment in the Katerina trilogy, The Unfailing Light takes us back into the life of seventeen year old Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg. Once again I was swept up by the courts of dark and light. The tale captivated me and I only came up for air when I reached the end. Katerina is enjoying holiday and looking forward to attending medical school in the fall. While exploring a cave, Katerina finds herself in the grey; the place between life and death. She comes face to face with Russia’s arch nemesis and he is still very much alive. With her life in possible danger she receives Imperial orders to returning to finishing school. Katerina is devastated and only George’s pleading has her agreeing. The empress casts a spell over the school to keep her safe, but it cuts of her powers. Only the vampire prince, Danilo can communicate to her telepathically. While she worries about George, she soon finds plenty to deal with as the school is haunted by a violent ghost. The tale that unfolded was filled with suspense, secrets, danger and the sweetest forbidden romance. Necromancer Katerina Alexandrovna is a delightful protagonist. I imagine that even without her powers she would be inquisitive, head-strong and always in the thick of things. She is noble, cares for others and can even find good in those who torment her. After the blood bond she finds the vampire prince in her head, and rather than let it freak her out, she uses it to find out information about the Order and George’s well-being in Paris. George Alexandrovich is a duke and the son of the Tsar. He has professed his love for Katerina and asked her to give him a year to convince his parents. Danilo is creepy and tries to weaves himself once again into Katerina life. He constantly refers to "when we get married" and his sisters once again cause problems at the school. Thankful there is no love triangle as Katerina’s heart belongs to George. The two share a few stolen moments. A new student and a ghost add to the adventures at the school and put everyone in grave danger. The world-building in Unfailing Light was delightful and suspenseful.. Bridge brings us a world with Fae, vampires, wolves, witches, and fairies. She skillfully weaves them into the history of the Russian court creating a light and dark court. I can just imagine the school, the countryside and the caves. I enjoyed how she gave us details without bogging the tale down. The new characters and events at the school adding suspense to the tale. We see character growth with Katerina and plot advancement. The plot has clever twists and turns, causing me to never be sure where loyalty lies. When an author keeps me on edge like this I become completely enthralled in the tale. The ride kept me spellbound as the tale was well paced from the beginning. I cannot wait for the final installment for this series *sighs* Fans of historical paranormal fiction should delight in Unfailing Light. Bridge brings Katerina’s Russia to life and I look forward to revisiting it when the final book arrives. At this time no information is available on when that would be, I for one hope it is soon. I want to thank Random House for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LUVD IT!!!!!! I cant wait 4 the third book. This series involves romance and danger it is sooooooooo good u should read these boooks.(: :) (: :)
Kimmiepoppins More than 1 year ago
Great Things Happen When Reality and Imagination Collide! Every time I read one of Robin Bridges' books, I want to hop in a time machine and visit her Russia--a blend of historical fact and paranormal fiction. Everything about it is intriguing. Additionally, I've always loved the character of Katerina, but I couldn't believe how much more I got sucked in by George and Danilo in this book. And the fact that they are often inside Katerina's head makes it that much more fun. And there was a very interesting twist at the end that I didn't see coming but I'm dying to see how it develops. I can't wait for the conclusion of this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago