A comedy, horror, and romance, catch all book collides with science fiction and fantasy to give way to Gideon the Ninth. This book is a well deserved trip! Snarky and loud and overbearing, with themes of friendship, love and teamwork this book really catches your attention and makes you want to know more about this freaky world that has been created.

You have 9 realms and each realm practices a type of ‘death magic’. One resurrects skeletons,  one plays with souls, one can speak with ghosts and so on. This world is so unique and unlike some of the other books I have been reading, I was so excited to find a fresh sci-fi book with Gideon the Ninth, published in 2019. Themes of darkness swirl within outer space, as ancient magic carves paths through the stars connecting theses 9 realms and their studies of the dead. 

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Gideon the Ninth
Gideon the Ninth Book Cover

As far as opening lines, this book really caught me by surprise. The book opens up with, “In the myriadic year of our lord — the ten thousandth year of the King Undying, the kindly Prince of Death! — Gideon Nav packed her sword, her shoes and her dirty magazines, and she escaped from the House of the Ninth.” And from that point on you just deep dive into Gideon’s world and her life and keeps going on from there.

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“But Gideon was experiencing one powerful emotion: being sick of everyone’s shit.”
― Tamsyn Muir, Gideon the Ninth

Gideon The Ninth Synopsis

Gideon is an orphan. Found on an isolated planet she became a ward of the state, so to speak. In Gideon the Ninth, she grew up inside the royal palace, but not as part of the royal family. Basically she was an indentured servant of sorts, who everyone regarded as someone to be weary of. She was the orphan girl who was trained to be a warrior once they realized she did not have any magic or spark of necromancy flowing through her veins. After years of training, following the planets religion and strict rules, memorizing prayers after prayers, and seeing the fine art of necromancy, Gideon has decided on a plan to run away that will actually work out this time.

A necromancer's grave
A necromancer’s grave

When her plan worked and she was almost home free, she was caught and brought back by her nemesis, the princess herself. Growing up together they just did not vibe, and instead of friendship, a hatred grew between them. The princess grew up as a magic wielding necromancer and Gideon as a warrior. And when Gideon is almost free from her life, the princess is called in by the high emperor to compete in a task for a coveted title. Gideon is the only one who is skilled enough to protect her in this journey and who knows about the palace’s inner workings. She gets stuck with this role mainly because the princess’ cousin abdicates his spot and flees the emperor, and there is no one else to take his place…

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Science Fiction depiction
Necromancer depiction

After being blackmailed, tricked, beat up and suckered into accompanying the princess for the promise of her coveted freedom, Gideon finally gets to get off world and sees what else is out there. But what waits around the corner for Gideon is a shock, a twist, a surprise and maybe a few fights. Loyalty is tested, skills are sharpened, trust is found and trust is broken. Everyone has to trust one another, but yet someone is killing everyone. Gideon has to navigate through the trial she and her princess is put through, while figuring out what she wants, who she is becoming, and what exactly is her role in all of this. 

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I highly suggest picking up Gideon the Ninth, particularly if you like your sci-fi with a side of darkness. I am about to start the second book in the Locked Tomb Trilogy Harrow the Ninth, all while waiting feverishly for the publication of book three Alecto the Ninth, which I’ll be snapping up in 2022. I’m already convinced I’ll be re reading the Locked Tomb Trilogy for years to come, and I can’t wait to see what twists and turns Tamsyn Muir will show me next.


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8.0
Score

Pros

  • A new science fiction world
  • Captivating
  • High paced

Cons

  • Started off a bit confusing
Interest
8
Uniqueness
10
Fresh Read
8

Final Verdict

Overall this book was an amazing recommendation. It was something new, interesting, fresh, and highly captivating! It's a book to read more than once.