Review – Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Gideon the Ninth
  • Writing - 9.5/10
  • Development - 9/10
  • Overall - 9.25/10
User Review
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Author: Tamsyn Muir
Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton.

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

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 necromantic skeletons. 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 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.
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 448
Release Date: September 10th, 2019

Gideon the Ninth is a thrilling tale of necromancers in space, and the first novel in a new series. Gideon is not your typical swordswoman. Nor has she ever wanted the life handed to her. Or rather, forced upon her.


Gideon the Ninth Is As Brilliant and Daring As It Is Entertaining

Gideon the Ninth is the first novel in a glorious new series by Tamsyn Muir. The novel blends many genres and subjects like you’ve never seen before; here Gothic meets space, and necromancy meets teenage angst.

Set in a universe where necromancy is considered normal, this series launches a whole new plot of politics and magic around a culture of death and resurrection. Enter Gideon; she never wanted to be a vassal of Ninth House. But she wasn’t given much of a choice. Not that Harrowhark, the Reverend Daughter, ever seemed to be any happier about Gideon’s presence.

Tamsyn Muir - Gideon the NinthBut that all changes when they’re called upon by the emperor. Now the two are thrown into the deep end and have to hope that they can both uphold their ends of the bargain. And that they won’t kill each other along the way.

If you’ve been paying attention to book banter, then the odds are good you’ve been hearing a whole lot about Gideon the Ninth. I know that it has been blowing up my feed nonstop for the last eight months or so, and with good reason.


Gideon the Ninth was a rich and thrilling read from start to finish. Tamsyn Muir clearly put a lot of work into this piece of work, and it shows. The writing was captivating, filled with details, complex characters, and even more complex and foreboding plots.

One of the highlights of the novel was Gideon, the main perspective and by far one of the sassiest characters known to man. She knows what she wants, and what she doesn’t want. And she’s not afraid to let people know it. Her unique personality shone through in a world that was much darker—making her stand out to all around her (for better or for worse). This resulted in several memorable moments, to put it lightly.

The magical (read: necromancy) system was shockingly complex, but it went a long way in explaining the Nine Houses and their differences. This complexity adds so much to the world, but it also left me desperate to see more.


Gideon the Ninth had a pretty even pace, all things considered. It would occasionally wax and wane, giving us a chance to catch our breath before tossing us into the next stage of development. It made for a wild ride, but one that held my attention through to the end.

The novel started off on an odd note, but quickly progressed into something entirely different. There were twists and turns along the way, some predictable, some less so. I have no doubt that the predictable ones were tossed in to throw us off our guard for later.

The character interactions carried a large amount of this plot, but in a good way. Gideon had such a unique way of interacting with the world and people around her—it was something Muir excelled at portraying.

I’ll be honest with you here: in the last day since Gideon the Ninth came out, I’ve done almost nothing other than reading it. And when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. Simply put, I truly didn’t want to put this one down until I was finished.


I’ve been looking forward to Gideon the Ninth for months. No exaggeration there. After hearing nothing but good things about it, it was impossible not to raise my expectations to insanely high levels. But despite all of that, I was thrilled with what I found within these pages. It lived up to the expectations set, and has left me desperate for the next novel (which is titled Harrow the Ninth, for any curious).

So if you’re looking for a unique read, one that can be summed up in four words (lesbian necromancers in space), then Gideon the Ninth is a novel for you to check out.

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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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