The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges (Katerina Trilogy volume 1)
Target audience: Young adult
I just loved this book. It's the late 1800's in imperial Russia. Young Katerina has the gift, or curse as she sees it, of necromancy. She desperately tries to keep it a secret. However the pressure to get married, her desire to become a doctor and her curse activating without her knowledge, derail her. At first the necromancer aspect made me pause in picking it up but the ick factor is minimum. It has it all: romance, political intrigue, and of course magic. Yes, there is an enormous number of characters but that's very common of fantasy books and especially historical ones. This is what flavors the story and shows what that time period is like. Don't let it ruin the experience. Just focus on the main characters and filter out the rest. Then sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. It was so much fun!