Published January 2012
The Gathering Storm is similar to Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy (A Great and Terrible Beauty, etc.), with its late 19th century girls boarding school, but thrown into tsarist Russia. Katerina is a royal duchess who attends an elite school for noble young women. Her life involves attending royal balls and lots of canoodling with the aristocracy, but she's more interested in medical science than the latest court dances. Also, she's exploring this latent and creepy ability which brings dead things back to life.
Katerina's world is framed in a historical setting, but this is primarily a paranormal fantasy story. All of the royals in Katerina's circle either have abilities or know about them. Whether they use them or not is highly political, and she strategizes who she lets in on her secret, considering that necromancy is rare and her ability will be exploited the second it's discovered. Katerina frequently ponders the merits of medical acheivement over superstition; her mother believes in fortunes told from tarot cards, which Katerina dismisses. But her mother's tarot is very telling of Katerina's future, about a dark evil attempting to take over the tsar, and Katerina's role in preventing it.
There's a lot of drama, many beautiful and somewhat complicated Russian names, and complex web of paranormal heirarcy mixed into royal bloodlines. It's mostly a light read but I tripped up on the names at times, and also with some phrasing. I would suggest this if you're a fan of paranormal romance and/or royals.
This is a signed copy of The Gathering Storm that I'd like to pass on to one of you if you're interested! Leave a comment with a way to contact you. I will choose a random commenter!