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.
“Deft, tense and atmospheric, compellingly immersive and wildly original.”—The New York Times
“A whirlwind of dark fantasy and dark humor, all wrapped up in sarcastic, delightfully sapphic Gideon Nav. The narrative oozes with voice and every sentence rattles with Gideon’s disaffected attitude and the creepiness of skeleton bones.”—New York Journal of Books
“Brilliantly original, messy and weird straight through. With a snorting laugh and two middle fingers, the whole thing burns end-to-end. It is deep when you expect shallow, raucous when you expect dignity and, in the end, absolutely heartbreaking when you least expect it.”—NPR
“An incredibly immersive book, with a rich, detailed mythology, gorgeously balanced sentences, and a genuinely meaningful central relationship. I started this book chuckling at the outrageous premise. I finished it crying, because the ending punched me straight in the gut.”—Vox
“Gideon the Ninth is worth every second of every spine-chilling page as the book moves seamlessly from science fiction to mystery-thriller and back again.”—BookPage (starred review)
“Gideon the Ninth is simply one of the best and most original books in recent memory.”—Shelf Awareness
“Unlike anything I’ve ever read. Muir’s writing is as sharp as a broken tooth, and just as unsettling. This book is visceral, vivid, and downright violent. In short, absolutely marvelous.”—V.E. Schwab, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
“Gideon the Ninth remixes magic and technology to create a blisteringly awesome new world—and best of all, it's funny as hell.”—Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous and The Future of Another Timeline
“[Gideon the Ninth] blends science fiction, fantasy, gothic chiller, and classic house-party mystery. This intriguing genre stew works surprisingly well. Suspenseful and snarky, with surprising emotional depths.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Muir’s debut fuses science fiction, mystery, horror, fantasy, action, adventure, political intrigue, deadly dark humor, and a dash of romance with a healthy serving of skeletons and secrets and the spirit of queer joy. This extraordinary opening salvo will leave readers dying to know what happens next.”—Booklist (starred review)
“At once sarcastic, sincere, heart-wrenching, and honest pulpy enjoyment, filled with dark magic, swordplay, and lesbian necromancers, Muir's debut is a fantastic sf/fantasy blend. Readers will discuss this journey for a long time and be clamoring for the next installment.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Muir effortlessly compiles macabre humor, body horror, secrets, and tenderness into the stitched-together corpse of a dark universe, then brings it to life with a delightfully chaotic, crackling cast of characters and the connective tissue of their relationships.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Reviews from Goodreads
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.