REVIEW | Gideon the Ninth | Tamsyn Muir | The Locked Tomb Trilogy #1

“I need you to trust me.”

“I need you to be trustworthy.”

With Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir has genuinely ruined my life. I picked it up because people kept screaming about ‘lesbian necromancers in space’ and that sounds like exactly my kind of read (and also kind of like a ‘70s B movie that I want to watch), but nobody warned me that it would surgically remove my feelings. As of writing this review it’s been over two months since I read it, and I’ve been thinking about practically every day since. Rereading the quotes I noted down to write this review, I got weepy again and had to lie down like a Victorian damsel while I thought about reading it again.

5 stars for this life-ruining book. I would sacrifice anything for a copy of Harrow the Ninth right now.

Read me for the:

  • Gideon is such a himbo
  • Harrowhark Nonagesimus 🥰🥰🥰
  • Gideon “We do bones, motherfucker.” Nav
  • Gideon “One flesh, one end, bitch.” Nav
  • Gideon ‘I love women more than I love common sense’ Nav

The Plot:

After growing up in the ass-end of nowhere, space, surrounded by skeletons, creepy nuns and creepier necromancers, Gideon is ready to run from the Ninth House and not look back. She takes her sword and her dirty mags and plans to leave her servitude behind when she’s caught by the bane of her life, Harrowhark Nonagesimus, and roped into one last ‘favour’.

Reverend Daughter Harrowhark can do things with bones that nobody has ever imagined – mostly because nobody would want to. The Emperor has invited house heirs to a deadly trial of their skills, their wits and their balls. If Harrow can win, she’ll be an immortal and all powerful Lyctor, but there’s no way she can win without Gideon and the Ninth House will die.

What did I love?

What did I love? What didn’t I love would be more informative, and the answer is NOTHING.

  • The relationship between Gideon and Harrow: Godddd. The achingly slow transition from ‘I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire’ to “I can’t imagine a universe without you in it” sparks so. much. joy. For a book that is steeped in absolute nonsense, the relationship between them feels absolutely real. At home, they hate each other, but once they’re forced into close contact and they have nobody to trust but themselves, they have to learn to work together if they want to survive the terrifying death trials. They’re beautiful, and I love them.
  • The premise: This book is a wild ride. It’s weird and insane and altogether it’s the kind of experience that stays with you. Writing this review has me eager to re-read the whole thing again, because the ‘scenes I want to read again’ list is basically as long as the book itself. The setting is pretty unique, and I’ve always said that necromancy is my favourite branch of magic (skeletons are my aesthetic, okay) so I was drawn into the ancient and creepy Ninth House so fast. It was sometimes a little tricky to keep the characters straight because they all have names, nicknames and titles and the book flies past at a gallop, but the list in the front of the book helps a lot for reference. But the fast pace definitely tied into the tension for me. A large aspect of the plot is this ‘race’ to finish the trials first, so a fast pace to the novel made the time constraint feel real.
  • The ending: No spoilers, obviously, but wow. The end of this book packs a punch. I started to put the pieces together just before the end, and the tension and anticipation building up to the finale is unreal. From the second I finished the last page, I’ve been downright feral waiting for the next book.

Where can I buy?

Waterstones / Amazon (not affiliated)

If you can, please support local indie booksellers!

Add it on Goodreads here!

9 thoughts on “REVIEW | Gideon the Ninth | Tamsyn Muir | The Locked Tomb Trilogy #1

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