Alex Reviews: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

“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.” –The opening sentence of Gideon the Ninth

This book is a master class in not bogging down a story in needless detail. The world is complicated and intricate with complex social hierarchies, religion, and magic—but the plot is a locked room mystery and the viewpoint character is a swordfighter who wasn’t raised to all this and doesn’t even try to understand it. A reader can glean clues about the houses and get a good idea of how things work if they want, but the book definitely doesn’t linger unless it’s important to the story. I didn’t guess the reveal but the clues were there all along, and that’s a hallmark of a solid mystery plot.

What the story lacks in detail, it makes up for in voice. Gideon is a soldier of the Ninth House, a place almost like a monastery, dedicated to unique religious rites and guarding some treasure, and really what she wants to do is fight things with her sword. She’s got an irreverent view of her environment and her viewpoint colors description. She’s also learned how she can get a reaction out of more straitlaced associates by saying what crosses her mind. Naturally, this causes her boss no small amount of worry when they’re trapped in a place with seven sets of their counterparts and there’s tense social maneuvering because someone is almost certainly planning to kill the rest of them.

Gideon the Ninth is now out in paperback, and if you like some Nightmare Before Christmas creepy-cute-funny-gothy vibes, or you want to read a blend of science fiction and fantasy, or you just want to read some good abrasive snark, I give it my recommendation.

How to Purchase

Above, Gideon the Ninth is linked directly to our website where you can purchase for curbside, delivery or shipping. However, if we’re sold out, or you live out of town and would like them shipped, you can use our 3rd part supplier who will ship them to you (but will give us a commission).

Gideon the Ninth

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