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Gideon the Ninth

(The Locked Tomb #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  52,834 ratings  ·  10,057 reviews
The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

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

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
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Tor
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Tamsyn Muir Thank you so much for your interest in Gideon the Ninth, and I don't think you sound rude at all.

It's hard to quantify how much LGBT content is in the…more
Thank you so much for your interest in Gideon the Ninth, and I don't think you sound rude at all.

It's hard to quantify how much LGBT content is in the book -- the plot contains arguably very little romance, and conflicts/issues surrounding being LGBTQIA+ don't come up at all and never will. Hilariously, the word 'lesbian' comes up in the blurb, but is never used in the book.

That said, it's a book written by an LGBTQIA+ author about two LGBTQIA+ leads, and I can Word-of-God confirm that the POV protagonist is a lesbian whose interest in women is very obvious throughout the book. The non-POV protagonist's interest in bones is very obvious throughout the book. Hope that helps...

Again, thank you heaps, and isn't the cover GREAT??? Check out artist Tommy Arnold's work at and designer Jamie Stafford-Hill's at both are so boss!(less)
Tamsyn Muir That's lovely to hear, and I am not unsympathetic to your plight. With that in mind, here are some suggestions:

1. Increase your bodyweight by 30%, cr…more
That's lovely to hear, and I am not unsympathetic to your plight. With that in mind, here are some suggestions:

1. Increase your bodyweight by 30%, create a den, hibernate until September. Difficult if you're not both bears, but have a go

2. Entertain yourselves in the meantime by writing your own copy of GIDEON THE NINTH. If you think it might be better than the actual GIDEON THE NINTH keep it quiet!!! I don't need the competition!!!!!

3. Tell my publisher that you are 100% certain it is September and that you need a copy available to buy. This is a difficult con and relies on you travelling to their offices and changing all the calendars, which is also trespassing and may get you arrested. I guess this is the wild card. Maybe don't do this one

4. If you or your adult are on Twitter I am giving away galleys of this thing every month! Easiest option, but does require luck, and having an opinion on things like bones and swords

Whichever option you decide to go with, I hope that whenever you end up with a copy of the book you have an A+ reading time. Sorry about the wait...(less)

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 ·  52,834 ratings  ·  10,057 reviews

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ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

“The more you struggle against the Ninth, Nav, the deeper it takes you; the louder you curse it, the louder they’ll have you scream.”

Hi, my name is Melanie, and this was a really hard review to write for many reasons. First, I think I have hyped this book for all of 2019, and I have been very vocal about it being my favorite book of the year, and the best debut I’ve ever had the privilege of reading. Next, how do you write a review
chai ♡
What greater debt could be accrued than that of being brought up?” There’s an invisible collar rested around Gideon Nav’s throat, its leash leading back to the Ninth House, the claws of its heir fastened tight in her flesh.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, the sole daughter and secret ruler of the Ninth (and Gideon Nav’s executioner by increment), wore her destiny like a noose. She kept the frailty of her house guarded, locked-down, putting up a masterly front, but a chance at competing for the prestigou
Emily May
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana
“Maybe it’s that I find the idea comforting . . . that thousands of years after you’re gone . . . is when you really live. That your echo is louder than your voice.”

Ugh, I wish I hadn't taken so long to sit down and write a review of this. I prefer writing a review when everything is fresh in my mind, but I do actually have things I want to say about this dark, dense, totally unique fantasy.

One thing I think it might be helpful to know when starting this book is: you're going to just have to
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
ARC & Review copy provided by the publisher——in exchange for an honest review.

Gideon the Ninth is a damn fine example of why readers’ reviews are incredibly important.

If you have been active on bookish social media, you should know by now that Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir’s debut and the first installment in The Locked Tomb (or The Ninth House in the past) Trilogy, has been's most hyped book of the year. The buzz and praise for Gideon the Ninth has been immense to say the least
Miranda Reads
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook

Need a good read for a bad day? Here's a Booktube Video all about it!!
The Written Review

While we were developing common sense, she studied the blade.
Gideon the Ninth comes from an universe seeped in necromancy.

Her home planet, the Ninth planet, is by far the most isolated but when the Emperor calls for representatives from all of the Houses to a series of trials to determine the worthiest to inherit unimaginable power.

Harrow is the heir of the Ninth and the strongest necromanc
Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I cannot actually believe my hands declared their independence from the auto-control of my brain and gave 3.5 stars and rounded it down to three stars! I can shout at my hands and tell them they are ungrateful! They should have clapped this author’s creativity for this controversial, unique, fantastic plot and good characterization but well, my hands made the right decision! You know why! Okay keep reading and stop yawning in front of me!

I already started my happy dance and dropped this book se
Elle (ellexamines)

review to come but noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

the blurb of this quite literally contains the phrase "lesbian necromancers" like thanks Tor you know you’re the only publisher I trust anymore
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: female-lead, fantasy
In retrospect, this book is a bag of Doritos Mix. Either you love the pastiche, or you don't, but there's nothing about this that is going to be a classic that people will come back to time and time again. It's snack food, pure and simple, fun to munch-crunch, some parts better than others (but perhaps just the occasional too much to really sit well.)
Following a young person desperate to get off her residential planet, it has the distinctive voice of a new adult/young adult book, full of snark
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Update: $2.99 Kindle US 7/28/20

PS - I was too late to get the black stained edges so... I said hell with it. I did my own!

Holy shit ass snacks! That was different and I loved it!! I’m loving the covers on these books too!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for BEST SCIENCE FICTION and BEST DEBUT NOVEL 2019! what will happen?

”You want to fight it.”


“Because it looked…a little like swords.”


okay. so. usually when i write a review, i am writing it for some nameless, faceless reader who is deciding whether or not to read a book and looking for some information to help them make that decision, so i’ll do the whole plot-point, pull-quote thing—giving an overview of the book so they know what to expec
Sep 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
So, in a quest to clear my Currently-reading shelf, I forced myself to return to this book.

In December, I stopped reading with my thoughts being that I was intrigued by the story, but the writing was not for me. It felt sort of heavy-handed and very hard to get through. Confusing even.

So, now, I read the whole Act One. And while my opinion on the writing did not change. I started to lose a bit of my interest in the story.
It may get better when the story progresses more. Maybe. But there is
Chelsea Humphrey
Well, I finished. If nothing else, at least I received closure that it wasn't the timing that was off for me surrounding this story. I could go through a long list of why this book didn't work for me, but instead I'll just leave it at that, it didn't work for me. Chaima wrote a fantastic review that expresses my thoughts 100% HERE, so if you'd like an alternative, unpopular opinion that is well written and fairly offered, please check it out.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Here's another great Kindle sale: $2.99 as of June 23, 2020. This one won't be every reader's cuppa tea - read the reviews and decide for yourself - but those who like it tend to REALLY like it.

4.5 stars, rounding up. This is one of those books that gets better the more I think about it! Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Necromancers and their sword-fighting cavaliers star in Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir’s radically original debut novel, which has been nominated for the 2019 Neb
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Jul 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I've been sitting on this DNF for a couple months now. For those of you who are avid YouTube watchers of mine, you know I could not get through this book. I wasn't going to rate it but I feel SO strongly about this 1 star rating. This book suffers from the Tor hype as did The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons which I also highly disliked. The writing is a mess. Characters names are "neiowhgiewongow"..
The main character is an absolute ass. She gets the chance to get off the planet and her literal respo
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

TW: everything that comes with death magic; blood; bones; gore; body horror; cancer; suicide

I might bump this up to 5 but my brain is a little overwhelmed to think with everything that happened at the very end of this book.

This is what is says on the tin (“lesbian necromancer and her lesbian guard and other necromancer nobles explore a haunted gothic palace in space”) and much more. This book is incredibly hard to explain and that’s why it’s so polarizing. It’s eerie at times. Funny
Star Rating: —> 5 Stars!

My heart hurts. It ACHES.

SO INCREDIBLE. I literally cried when it was over & as it was ending.

I mean that ending? And this whole damn novel? Brutal AF!

Perfection. Truly. Im so confused as to some readers’ complaints that this was extremely confusing & didn’t follow a solid plot line (incl. subplots) that made sense... hmm.

(You can skip over this part if you aren’t interested!)
***BUT! before I go into any more detail... I have stumbled upon the PERFECT way to experience
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of brain breaking world building
Recommended to Tatiana by: Melanie
Now that I didn't have to break my brain over all the necromancy lingo and knew the characters, this way a much funnier read. A locked tomb mystery with a witty narrator, basically.
Pretty much what karen said.

I haven’t worked this hard trying to grock a book since Ninefox Gambit. The world building is dense and elaborate, and I honestly had no idea there was so much to know about necromancy. Is all necromancy stuff in this book a total Tamsyn Muir invention? Or is this a commonly known lo
Emily Duncan
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is it. This is the perfect book.
“Does anyone else want to take this opportunity to admit that they’re already dead, or a flesh construct, or other relevant object? Anyone?”
It took me about three weeks and a hundred pages to really warm up to this book, but then I inhaled it, flew through it like a necromancer to a bone, happy and giddy even if at times exasperated.

This was different and weird, full of “huh?” moments, and snarky one-liners, and immature teenage humor. But it’s the same kind of humor that my inner voice ten
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review :D

“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.”

🌟 I am pretty sure this will
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Roanhorse
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stunningly good. A brilliant and original mash-up of genres, the story is brimming with memorable characters, acerbic dark humor, a unique magic system, space travel, decaying technology and layers upon layers of mystery. It is the Gothic space adventure I didn't know I needed. ...more
C.G. Drews
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, adult, read-2019
i still don't even remotely know what to do with this book that has left me splattered across the footpath. I'm currently GLARING at it. But also in awe of it. I'll straight up admit: adult scifi is a genre I very rarely reach for, but I had to for this because anyone who who says lesbian necromancers in space deserves my pledge of allegiance. It took adjusting to get into and I still have infinite questions about the world building. But also -- holy shit -- tHIS BOOK.

[world building]
Going to ki
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
fuck it 5 stars this baby made me go feral in the best way

want to know more (aka watch me have a breakdown)? check out my reading vlog for this book and three other popular sapphic books here!
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
So I enjoyed this book immensely, and it’s been a long time since I’ve fallen so deeply in love - real, actual love - with a protagonist. But while my heart says FIVE STARS! my head says three. There is a caveat to my final rating, and it boils down to the fact that I understood what was going on about 65% of the time. Even after finishing it I still struggle to picture how this world works socially and economically, and I’m also not sure why there needed to be any sci-fi angle to this. The sci- ...more
Deborah Obida
Buddy read with BBN

Never have I ever seen such a misleading publicity, I know its petty cause the book delivered half but its still a lie, We picked this book to read in one of my book clubs because its about Lesbian Necromancer but the book only delivered on the necromancer part. Gideon who is the supposed queer character isn't even a necromancer so how, she just had a crush on a necromancer which in my opinion wasn't returned, she also thought Niberius a guy was hot but that doesn't make her s
sofia (sam willows)
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to sofia (sam willows) by: Melanie
so, i loved this book. it wasn’t perfect, by any means, but in the end i loved it all the same. even though this book is a new favorite of mine, i feel obliged to spend some time talking about what i didn’t love for the sake of people who will pick this up when it comes out.

the worlduilding

i’m pretty used to high fantasy worlduilding, where you’re thrown into a complex, made up society and you have to figure out how it works as you go. i can usually grasp the basics and how things work from the
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.25ish stars.

For all its faults, this book is pure entertainment. It's a cool set-up from the get-go, and offers a new spin on classic fantasy/sci-fi tropes such as separating the world into different "houses" with various unique characteristics.

The main thing is that the story itself is just really well-written. It's fun, exciting, and at about the halfway point it's absolutely gripping. It's also a kind of a sample platter of genre fiction; it's fantasy but there are also elements of horror,
Look at that cover!

Just LOOK at it.
Behold its beauty and then read the synopsis...

I know, right!?!?

Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
“I pray the tomb is shut forever, I pray the rock is never rolled away. I pray that which was buried remains buried, insensate, in perpetual rest, with closed eye and stilled brain. I pray it lives, I pray it sleeps ... I pray for the needs of the Emperor All-Giving, the Undying King, His Virtues and his men. I pray for the Second House, the Third, the Fourth, the Fifth; the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth. I pray for the Ninth House, and I pray for it to be fruitful. I pray for the soldiers and adep ...more
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TAMSYN MUIR is the bestselling author of the Locked Tomb Trilogy, which begins with Gideon the Ninth, continues with Harrow the Ninth, and concludes with Alecto the Ninth. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, the World Fantasy Award and the Eugie Foster Memorial Award. A Kiwi, she has spent most of her life in Howick, New Zealand, with time living i ...more

Other books in the series

The Locked Tomb (3 books)
  • Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2)
  • Alecto the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #3)

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  Author C.L. Clark is no newcomer to the sci-fi and fantasy scene. Though she just published her first novel, The Unbroken, earlier this year,...
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