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Gideon the Ninth

by Tamsyn Muir

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Locked Tomb (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,3261792,665 (4.14)128
The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense. 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 arcane revenants. 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 be 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.… (more)
  1. 40
    The Unspoken Name by A K Larkwood (stephiewonder)
    stephiewonder: Lesbians! Magic! Space! Weird death cults! It's all there.
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    aspirit: Warrior lesbians in space. Both space operas contain strong horror elements.
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    Anonymous user: They're both fundamentally comfortable mystery stories in exquisitely detailed novel universes. They don't *look* very similar, but they're sneaky like that.
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» See also 128 mentions

English (175)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (177)
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
Closer to 4/4.5 but I'm rounding up because it was a genuinely wild and fun story! "Gideon the Ninth" is like Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" but set in space and the characters are all necromancers and cavaliers, so that really just set the stage for a good time. I grew to love multiple characters, especially Gideon and Harrowhawk, who steal the show. Seriously, the relationship between Gideon and Harrow just GUTTED me at points and I was losing my mind during certain scenes. Also, I really liked the setting: I'm a sucker for an abandoned palace/house plot point and I think this one was well executed.

On the flip side, the cast of characters is HUGE and they aren't introduced in a very easy to follow way. I kept having to flip back to the character list (thank goodness there was one) and remember who was who. Also, some characters are referred to by multiple names; Gideon alone is call Gideon, Griddle, Nav, Cav, etc. and it's even more difficult when this happens with side characters the reader doesn't know very well yet. There are two characters whose names start with "P" and I constantly mixed them up until about 3/4 into the book.
The other main thing I think needed revision were the descriptions/explanations of certain magical things. There is a necromancy science that seems to underlie the magic system, which is cool, but there is so much talk of it that just went right over my head. I couldn't even begin to comprehend what they MIGHT be talking about. I just felt lost when the characters were trying to figure out the Big Mystery because I didn't (and kind of still don't?) understand what was at stake.
Finally, the worldbuilding is very thin and needs work, BUT because the novel was so contained to really one area this didn't bother me too much. The first 30 or so pages of the novel I struggled with because a lot was thrown in my face at once, but as the plot settled down it was okay.

On the whole: a super fun read that was never what I thought it was going to be, and I was downright shocked at times. I hope the sequel goes through some better revision, and Muir is able to smooth over some clunkier bits of writing, but I'm definitely planning on reading it. ( )
  deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
I love complex, intricate, thought provoking stories/novels, and this delivers. I got intensely detailed necromancy, murder mystery and really fun fight scenes, all with the faintest air of romance somewhere near the outer layers.
I would get really intensely drawn in to a situation and start a concerned dialogue, and in the next breath I’m laughing at a very well placed comedic break. I’ve waited a long time to get my hands on this book, and now it’s mine! There’s nothing remotely like it that I’ve yet to find.
If you are intimidated by lengthy discovery discussions, full world immersion and lots of new words, this book has naming system explanations, cohort intelligence files (yes, you read that right), a glossary and an excerpt on necromancers and cavaliers. See, there’s aids, no fear.
My ooooonly hold on a full 5 stars was the slight fading of the dominant character into the background towards the end. ( )
  cmpeters | Feb 2, 2024 |
Some five star books are near perfect, all of the themes and foreshadowing from the beginning folding expertly onto the ending in a satisfying lattice - unimpeachable, a Gordian knot.

Gideon the Ninth is a messy five.

Not all of the sarcastic quips landed with me, there are several big moments that end up going unexplained/"rule of scary", and there are several characters that don't get enough time on the page. Plus these kids receive injuries and lose amounts of blood that feel pretty unsustainable. And yet, it's full of creepy fun and bombastic horror. Gideon and Harrow are a blast to get to know, both how they jostle and snarl at each other and how they peel back those layers of animosity to try to figure out a way to work together. The puzzle of the First House is engaging and wondrous, and its dark corners will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. The last third of the book drops bombshell reveals and ratchets the stakes sky high. It's an absolute romp, and I can already tell it'll be rattling around in my head for a long while. ( )
  AdioRadley | Jan 21, 2024 |
Read with a friend who had it recommended. Representatives from 8 houses gather to undergo a mysterious trial to become prestigious servants of the emperor undying. I'd like to say it was an interesting premise but it took a bit to get around to it. While I see the appeal of the characters and story, I did feel like it was lacking in execution. The world details we get are very sparse and there were several points that I felt were missed opportunities on the part of the author. I also felt the narrative itself was choppy and with inconsistencies in language style. Much of the time, I found myself more interested in the other characters rather than in Gideon herself. Muir has good ideas, but there is not enough substance to support them. ( )
  WeeTurtle | Jan 20, 2024 |
such a lovely way to pull you into the world of these books! not flawless, but does 'quirky characters' and general comic tone from a protagonist in a way that doesnt come off as grating or frustrating as in some other works ( )
  crestofthebeast | Jan 12, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
„Ich bin Gideon“ ist sprachlich überschäumend, grell und laut wie eine romangewordene Fahrt mit der Geisterbahn. Zugegeben, es gibt Passagen, in denen es noch ein wenig ruckt und rumpelt. Aber Tamsyn Muir ist jung, erst 1985 in Neuseeland geboren und „Ich bin Gideon“ ist ihr Romandebüt. Dieses Debüt ist ihr großartig gelungen.
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tamsyn Muirprimary authorall editionscalculated
Arnold, TommyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quirk, MoiraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stafford-Hill, JamieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Two is for discipline, heedless of trial;
Three for the gleam of a jewel or a smile;
Four for fidelity, facing ahead;
Five for tradition and debts to the dead;
Six for the truth over solace in lies;
Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies;
Eight for salvation no matter the cost;
Nine for the Tomb, and for all that was lost.
Dedication
for pT
First words
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.
Quotations
At that time, the tiny Ninth House boasted two hundred children between infancy and nineteen years of age, and Gideon was numbered two hundred and first. Less than two years later, Gideon Nav would be one of only three children left: herself, a much older boy, and the infant heir of the Ninth House, daughter of its lord and lady.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense. 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 arcane revenants. 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 be 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.

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