In St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1888 Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg is attending the Smolny Institute, a finishing school for Russian debutantes. She has lived her whole life not revealing her gift as a necromancer which she considers a curse. All Katerina wants to do is study to become one of the first women doctors which is not allowed in Russia at this time. But there is an evil presence that seems to be attacking the royal bloodlines of Europe. Without meaning to she uses her gift as a necromancer and brings a young soldier back to life. This draws attention to her from two different men – the tsar’s son George Alexandrovich and Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro.
Then her classmates at Smolny Institute become deadly ill and Katerina is facing a time where she needs to decide if she wants to align with the Dark or Light side. Is it possible to have a gift she deems evil but yet be able to use it to help the Light side?
There are many long Russian names and many different family lines to follow but the story overpowers that and you keep reading and figure it out as you go.
The first book in The Katerina Trilogy.
ISBN: 978-0-385-74022-7 386 pages Ages 11 & up
Recommended by Joleen Waltman, Librarian, Idaho USA