While not strictly urban fantasy — okay, okay, fine, steampunk — one of those would be Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage.
Carriger’s first series, Parasol Protectorate, was adult steampunk. Etiquette & Espionage, the first installment in the new YA series Finishing School, is set in the same world as Parasol Protectorate.
It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to finishing school.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea — and God forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right — but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.
Etiquette & Espionage will be published February 5th by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. It is 320 pages and priced at $17.99 in hardback. The digital edition is $8.99, and a three-chapter Kindle preview is currently free at Amazon.com.