Rating: 4.5 / 5
GIDEON THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir has been on my shelf since it first came out and I kept meaning to get to it, but somehow never did. I finally picked it for a reading challenge prompt in July, but really wanted the audio and I ran out of audio loans on Scribd, so it got pushed back a bit more. As it turns out, that wasn’t all bad since it wound up being picked for the Magic Mayhem Reads buddy read on Instagram.
GIDEON THE NINTH begins with Gideon and Harrow. Harrow is a necromancer in need of a warrior, someone who can act as swordswoman for the Ninth House. Though Harrow and Gideon have a very contentious relationship, Harrow isn’t above bribing Gideon with her freedom in order to convince her to do what is best for the house.
Gideon has been raised by nuns, surounded by skeletons and is now living a life of servitude to the Ninth House. She can’t stand Harrow, but with her freedom on the line, she is willing to (maybe) keep her mouth shut, follow all of the required (but why?) rituals in order to help Harrow advance and the Ninth House survive, but really just to gain her freedom.
Gideon is a fantastic character to follow. She is full of snark which I love and backtalk which is perfectly understandable. Harrow is rigid and bound to do things in the proper way, but their interactions and banter are fantastic. I am so glad that I waited for the audiobook to be available as well because the narrator really did a fantastic job bringing all the characters and the action to life!
There are a lot (a LOT) of other characters (the book opens with a list of characters for each of the houses) and at times it is hard to keep everyone straight. In the beginning I struggled with this (and having a migraine in the middle didn’t help), but I to some extent decided to just roll with it and not worry overly much and I think that worked well in this case. The author did well at giving the reader the information needed when it was needed. The narrator’s command of accents also helped a lot with distinguishing the large cast.
This was an action packed, fun read not necessarily for the faint of heart. It doesn’t pull many punches when it comes to some gore and putting characters in mortal danger, but when the book is about necromancers you kind of have to expect that? The ending was a definite wow moment and I’m excited to pick up the sequel HARROW THE NINTH very soon!