The life of an 1890s Russian society girl is full of balls, expensive clothing, young men, and endless lessons in etiquette. If you’re Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, then you also have to deal with all manner of vampires, werewolves, mummies, the undead, and evil fae. That is because she is a powerful necromancer who stands out even among her magical companions. Twice before she has helped her tsar save Russia from being plunged into darkness by evil forces. The final volume of The Katerina Trilogy introduces yet another supernatural dilemma. This time, the evil lich tsar Konstantin Pavlovich has crawled his way out of the Graylands, the land of the dead. He is searching for the Morning Star, a heaven-forged sword that grants the wielder absolute power over an army so strong it could destroy civilization. Duchess Katerina, nicknamed Katiya, knows that it is up to her and her friends to stop him. But how? The situation is complicated when an old flame with questionable motives shows up with a risky plan to save the world. However, the plan might mean losing her true love. Will Katiya follow her head or her heart in The Morning Star?
The Morning Star provides a lush blend of history and fantasy that keeps readers rapidly turning pages, never knowing what creatures await them in the next chapter. The main players– Katiya, George, Danilo, and Konstantin– are deeper and more thought-out than ever. The character arcs that some of those characters go through are fulfilling to read about. I also approved of how Katiya stays firm to her dreams and loyal to her family. An intelligent duchess far ahead of her time, she provides a good role model for girls. The new settings were a treat to read about. Smolny Institute has been left behind, but none of the escapades are lost! Egyptian mythology had been referenced to in the previous books, so it was delightful to read about Katiya’s adventures in the Land of the Nile. One of my favorites things about the series was that many of the royals mentioned were real people. What happens to them in the books is very loosely based on their actual lives. The show-stopping final chapter is the cherry on top. All in all, I believe that readers faithful to Katiya will enjoy the bittersweet, magical finale of The Katerina Trilogy.