Gay necromancers in space, need I say more?
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 off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.
Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.
Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.
Of course, some things are better left dead.
Ohhhh if there was ever a book for me it was this one.
I love it, I loved everything about it.
“I completely fucking hate you, because you are a hideous witch from hell. No offence”
Gideon Nav, as you may have guessed, is our main badass lady in this story. She is a swordfighter on the Ninth planet. She lives a pretty bleak life, she trains and spends most of her time avoiding everyone else. She is so witty and dry, I loved reading her. She is the complete antithesis of Harrowhark who is the heir to the Ninth and it’s main ruler. Harrowhark Nonagesimus (hell of a mouthful) is a necromancer and a very skilled one at that. They spend most of their time avoiding each other and all Gideon wants to do is leave but she is an indentured servant.
Gideon is given her chance to leave but ends up missing it, fortunately for her, the shuttle she was meant to be on, blew up. Harrowhark gives Gideon an ultimatum, she can help her and gain her freedom or stay in the Locked Tomb forever.
The Emperor invites all of the Necromantic heirs and their Cavaliers to compete in trials to ascend to become an immortal Lyctor. This has been Harrowhark’s goal and her way to save her house. The ship that blew up contained the actual Cavalier of the Ninth and Harrowhark cannot compete without one, so here comes Gideon.
They leave the Ninth and head to the First House. Upon their arrival, they notice that things aren’t quite what they seem. Harrow portrays Gideon as a sister serving in silence, so Gideon must bite her tongue. They are quite the pair in traditional dress, big black flowing clothes and skeleton face paint. This also hides the fact that Gideon is not a trained Cavalier and is passable with a rapier but she is trained to wield a longsword.
There is a hell of a lot going on in this world but at no point did I feel overwhelmed. The way Muir has written this book is genius, a lot of the story happens in the background without you thinking too much about it. It’s a beautifully complex world.
They must complete a series of tasks where they learn the skills they need to help them to ascend and each task completed, gives them a key. However, more and more of the heirs and their cavaliers turn up dead. It becomes a bit of a murder mystery with no one really trusting anyone. There are secrets, lies and murder afoot and it’s brilliant.
I have to say, this was easily one of the best books i’ve read in a long time. I was overwhelmed by how much I related to the characters and I adore them. Gideon is the best but I do love Harrow too.
There are some adorable interactions with Gideon and the other houses, her feeling for the gorgeous golden girl floored me with the dialogue! I loved it. I think you can tell that Harrow loves Gideon but neither of them knows how to show it but this trial brings it out in them.
The world is immense and the magic-system is genius. They are each necromancers but have different skills, much like being a doctor perhaps. Some neromancers are good with bones and only bones, some can work with the soul and others who work with both the living and the dead. It’s utterly fascinating.
I loved everything about it and I was left thinking about it for so long. I cant wait for the sequel, Harrow the Ninth. Tamsyn, you smashed it.