This is set in 1880s Russia, and centres around Katerina, a young necromancer. As well as the dead being brought back to life, this Russia also contains many different types of vampires, faeries, witches and many paranormal creatures connected somehow to Russian folkore. And with all the mystery going on at court, various things happen and Katerina is the only one who can really do anything about it.I don’t normally read things involving Russia, mainly because there’s not that many YA books set in Russia. Or maybe they are, and I’ve not heard of them. But anyway, this was a new culture for me. The way the faerie and vampire and other paranormal races were woven into the Nobility was very interesting, and done in a way that I love.d. Really, the actual nobility were the creatures. Fun. Katerina is a great lead character, she’s strong, not afraid to voice her opinions and dreams of being a doctor, something almost unheard of for women in those days. I don’t think the other characters were quite as well done, possibly excepting her mother, who was strong and interesting in her own way. The romance, while not being particularly amazing, didn’t detract from enjoying the book either, and was just there. The biggest drawback in this is the names. All very similar, as per Russian tradition, but hard to remember and distinguish.The mystery and the part of the plot that was interesting didn’t really pick up until later on in the novel. Until then, it was fairly repetitive. And then when it did all pick up, I was hooked until the end.I loved the rich mythology and the whole variety of things used. It was very interesting to read about the set up of the nobility, and also the set up of the Faerie and Vampire courts and so and so.We're kept guessing throughout the second half, partly due to the stuff that's happening and the ways it could go, and partly because of the way things are easily mixed up (at least for me).Overall: Strength 4 tea to a very original book with a strong heroine that I want to see more of.