• Sandra Barret

Gideon the Ninth – so much to love and a sequel is already out!

I finished my reread of Gideon the Ninth, and second time around, I love it even more.

This is the first book in the Locked Tomb trilogy by Tamsyn Muir, and, like I said, the sequel is already out. I started my reread to refresh my memory before starting the second book, Harrow the Ninth. Below are a few quick thoughts now that I’m done with the reread, and one minor spoiler at the end.

The synopsis

I’m cheating here a bit by pulling this from the official blurb, but it’s such a cool hook!

The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense. Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap out of the audio, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

What’s to love about this book?

Well, the obvious – sarcasm and snark and two main characters who start out hating each other. Muir’s characterization and dialog are fantastic throughout. Gideon has some of the best lines, but she doesn’t completely steal the show. While the story is told through her eyes, we get to understand Harrow better over time, as well as some of the minor side characters.

The settings are well integrated into the story

Muir describes two main settings, the House of the Ninth, dark and no positive home for Gideon, and the House of the First, where age brings on new meaning. This place is so old clothes have rotted on the rack so to speak. The house meanders across multiple stories on an ocean planet.

The one spoiler

If you got this far, you are ready for this. I won’t give details, but the ending is a bit of a shocker and may not appeal to all readers. I admit I didn’t like how it ended on the first read. But on the second, where I was prepared for what was to come, it all fits well and I enjoyed it. Can’t wait to get into the sequel!.

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