Gideon the Ninth

By Tamsin Muir,

Book cover of Gideon the Ninth

Book description

15+ pages of new, original content, including a glossary of terms, in-universe writings, and more!

A USA Today Best-Selling Novel!

"Unlike anything I've ever read. " --V.E. Schwab

"Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!" --Charles Stross

"Brilliantly original, messy and weird straight through." --NPR

The Emperor needs…

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Why read it?

14 authors picked Gideon the Ninth as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I have a soft spot for books that feature necromancy, so I had to pick this up. Right away, I felt for the MC’s plight of feeling trapped in the life laid out for her, and then I felt intense anger towards the one responsible only to find they must work together. There is humor, drama, and heart in this tale. When I read I want to be made to feel something, and this book has that in spades, even if a lot of the time I find myself feeling anger at how the MC is treated. She has a…

From Denise's list on fantasy that anime lovers will enjoy.

When I read this book, it was so different from anything I’d read before it, and that remains the case a few years later! This is a darker read, with lots of gross parts – so be warned. Having said that, Gideon Nav, the protagonist of this book, is hands down the most entertaining narrator I’ve ever read, and that’s why I’ve picked her here. Her offsider, Harrowhark, is her polar opposite, and the two of them are such a fantastic pairing, I honestly couldn’t stop turning pages to read more of their interactions.

Gideon is Harrowhark’s cavalier (read: bodyguard),…

I chose this book because of a comment written by Charles Stross. "Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space." This book intrigued me from page one and is a mystery built around necromancy and love. It is a story that is slow to get going but the complex protagonist and the amazing world building were enough to hold me riveted until the story really explodes. The mystery is expertly told with twists, false leads, and a cast of characters that you won’t easily forget. The main character is irreverent, sarcastic, and damaged and I really grew to love…

If you prefer your mysteries with a side of sci-fi, you can’t go wrong with Gideon the Ninth. There’s a lot going on here— deadly trials, spooky settings, competing necromancers, and secrets upon secrets—but in this dark, imaginative world, the characters are what make this book amazing. Gideon Nav (sarcastic swordswoman and reader of dirty magazines) is cool, funny, and somehow very relatable, and her relationship with her nemesis, Harrowhark (horrible little bone witch) is the heart of the story. This isn’t an easy read, and the book is one people either love or hate, but it’s unique, original,…

Necromancers in space is a concept that drew me in instantly. Gideon is a glorified sword-wielding bodyguard to Harrow, a necromancer asked to aid in the emperor’s war. But to do that, they’re shipped off to the House of Canaan where they must discover the secrets to lyctorhood. With the dozens of other necromancers and their cavaliers, the crazy experiments haunting Canaan House, and someone out to murder them, this necromantic space mystery should absolutely be on your TBR, but not on your vacation list. 

So much has already been said about this weird and wonderful novel, but I’ll add my voice to the mix. I haven’t read anything else quite like it. (Necromancers in space! Dueling royal houses meets locked room mystery!) At times, it can be a lot to absorb, but once I got pulled into the novel’s strange universe, with a galactic empire, skeletons, and necromancers competing for power, I was hooked. It helps that the protagonist, Gideon Nav, is a funny, irreverent guide throughout the story—the dialogue is sharp and stylish, and the humor is biting. Years later, I still think…

Snark. I mean it! Gideon is just so…snarky! And while originally Muir’s heavy lean into that sarcastic bite turned me off of Gideon for a few chapters, I really got into it when the story picked up and the necromancy aspect turned out to be pretty damn cool. The voices Muir infused into the story grabbed me by the throat and kept me pinned to the page, quite literally. (Did I mention the snark??) As with all the other books I’m recommending today, the lesbian aspect was a part of the book—a big part, I’d say actually, the clashing romance…

I honestly can’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard reading a book! I don’t read a lot of space-themed stories, but this one had me hooked from the first sentence. The story begins when Gideon Nav (accomplished swordswoman/lovable jackass) and Lady Harrowhark (wickedly good necromancer/mildly psychotic ruler of The Ninth) are summoned off-planet by the mysterious Emperor of The First. Gideon and Harrow soon find themselves trapped in the Emperor’s decrepit mansion, along with the rulers and cavaliers of the other eight houses, and forced to compete for a chance to claim immortality. The story is a well-crafted mystery set…

Gideon is finally picking up a cult gay following on the Internet, and when I finally read it, my only question was: why isn’t it bigger?! The Locked Tomb series easily holds its own in the SFF world with a wide cast of well-rounded characters, genre-busting worldbuilding, repeated narrative innovation, and influences as far-ranging as Greek classics and modern fanfic culture. Muir’s skill is undeniable, and I’ve yet to meet someone—genre, sexuality, literary preferences be damned—who could resist; one refrain I hear often (and echo myself) is “By all rights, I shouldn’t have liked it… but I loved it!” No…

Honestly, I’d have read it just for that fabulous cover, but when I saw it described as “Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space! Decadent nobles vie to serve the deathless Emperor! Skeletons!" I was definitely here for it. While this book is more fantasy than urban fantasy, it's got a ton of beloved shared tropes like magic tests, warring houses, and two people who despise each other who must work together or lose everything. The characters are fascinatingly flawed, the stakes are life and death, and there are secrets galore to be unearthed. It’s wonderful.  

From Deborah's list on urban fantasy with diverse characters.

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