Review: Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House #1) by Tamsyn Muir

Gideon the NInthPublisher:
Author: Tamsyn Muir
Released: September 10th, 2019
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Gideon the Ninth is the first novel in the Ninth House series by Tamsyn Muir, and it is arguably one of the most talked about novels of the year. At least, it sure has been filling up my twitter feed.

There are two ways to sum up Gideon the Ninth. There’s a simple way; a condescend description covering the bare bones (pun intended) of the novel. And a more detailed and complex explanation.

The short version: Lesbian necromancers in space. Yes, it sounds brilliant, does it not?

Now for the more complex version:

In a universe where necromancy is king, there live nine houses. But times are changing, and the Emperor is calling back the heirs to each house. The news is dire – for some. For others, it’s the chance of a lifetime.

Gideon never wanted to be a member of Ninth House. She certainly never wanted to become an ossifying nun. Or have anything else to do with Harrowhark. She’d much rather spend time with her broadsword and girly magazines. Or run off and join the war efforts. But the universe hardly listens to what we want, now does it?

Harrowhark Nonagesimus is the Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House. And the only daughter. She carries all of their hopes and dreams on her small (but not frail) shoulders. And she can give back as good as Gideon – if not better.

Together these two are off on a quest, with the fragile hope that the other will maintain their end of the bargain. And neither know what is truly in store.


“Gideon marvelled that someone could live in the universe only seventeen years and yet wear black and sneer with such ancient self-assurance.”

Spoiler Warning

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Gideon the Ninth for the past umpteen months. So naturally, I’ve been excitedly counting down the days to release. And I’ve got to tell you; it held up to all of those high expectations I set. That is no mean feat.

I just finished Gideon the Ninth, and I’ll be honest with you. I’m still reeling from this one. It was so complex and beautifully written; full of the banter I so adore, and so much more. There’s politicking, plotting, scheming, backstabbing, and a whole litany of other dilemmas for these two opposing souls to deal with.

This book was so deliciously rich. The dialogue alone is a treasure. But there was more than that, naturally. I’m fascinated with the world/universe and even have a theory or two about the larger picture. I also found myself growing attached to several different characters along the way. Especially Gideon.

The hate/love/hate dynamic between Gideon and Harrowhark was both amusing and fascinating. I found myself curious about the cause for their strong animosity, while also enjoying the quips they tossed back and forth.

I honestly couldn’t get through this book fast enough – I was desperate to find out what was going to happen next, to try and figure out the puzzle laid out before us. That is not to say that Gideon the Ninth was a quick read. I actually found myself re-reading paragraphs and events. There was enough detail to warrant additional readings at multiple points.

Gideon the Ninth is the first novel in the series, as mentioned above. I know that there are at least two more, and both already have names (Harrow the Ninth and Alecto the Ninth). And honestly? I’m already counting down the days for more news about them. So take that as the glowing recommendation it is.

Oh! And one final thing: I absolutely adored that they included a house guide at the beginning of the book. This was a nice touch, but also something I found myself referencing on several occasions.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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