Dual Review: Gideon the Ninth & Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir // Or, Lesbian Space Necromancers

★★★★,5 | She’s the funny one but she will murder you

“Her adept said: “I’ll keep it off you. Nav, show them what the Ninth House does.”

Gideon lifted her sword. The construct worked itself free of its last confines of masonry and rotten wood and heaved before them, flexing itself like a butterfly.

“We do bones, motherfucker,” she said.”


Title: Gideon the Ninth

Series: The Locked Tomb

Author: Tamsyn Muir

Publisher: Tor.com

Release Date: 10th 2019

Pages: 448

Genres:   LGBT | Science Fiction | Fantasy


💀 f/f
💀 enemies to lovers
💀 gays in space
💀 necromancy

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 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.


Thanks Edelwaiss+ for the review copy. All opinions are my own.

Gideon the Ninth took me a while to get into — in fact, I was supposed to read it eons ago back when it was still an eARC on my Kindle but I’ve been putting it off and off for various reasons.

It’s medium length but the language and the writing style make it go slower at times — which isn’t always a minus but I have an attention span of a goldfish, so forgive me.

Nevertheless, it was mastery of the word, fantastic worldbuilding, intriguing plot, and characters to kill and die for.

I was so wrong to take this long to finish it…

I know that everyone and their mother has already said that but READ THIS MASTERPIECE. It will take up your time, it will make you pick up a dictionary, it will totally wreck you despite its humorous tone. But it will be so worth it. You’ll thank me, I promise.

I loved how over-the-top it was with the aesthetic. How it didn’t take itself too seriously despite kicking your ass off to the dictionary multiple times. How the transition from enemies to lovers — hell, even from enemies to something akin to friends — is the slowest burn ever full of ups and downs. How it showed different relationships between necromancers and cavaliers and each of them was unique. How rich worldbuilding was and how different the houses were. How this huge group of characters was so fleshed out…

Everything about this book deserves praise. Everything about this unique, smiling at you through the blood on its teeth, space lesbian necromancers palace mystery deserves praise.

★★★★,5 | She’s the harrowing one but she will give you hope

“Do not fucking ask me for information. I could not be more lost right now.”

— A.K.A. the mood of this book

Title: Harrow the Ninth

Series: The Locked Tomb

Author: Tamsyn Muir

Publisher: Tor.com

Release Date: August 4th, 2020

Pages: 512

Genres:  LGBT | Science Fiction | Fantasy


💀 f/f
💀 enemies to lovers
💀 gays in space
💀 necromancy

Harrow the Ninth, the sequel to the sensational, USA Today best-selling novel Gideon the Ninth, turns a galaxy inside out as one necromancer struggles to survive the wreckage of herself aboard the Emperor’s haunted space station.

She answered the Emperor’s call.

She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.

In victory, her world has turned to ash.

After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman’s shoulders.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, has been drafted by her Emperor to fight an unwinnable war. Side-by-side with a detested rival, Harrow must perfect her skills and become an angel of undeath — but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and even her mind is threatening to betray her.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor’s Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?


Thanks Libro.fm for the review copy. All opinions are my own.

Harrow the Ninth is a story of many questions and shocking answers. Mainly, ‘what the fuck?’  ‘What the fuck?’s didn’t leave me until 3/4 of the book where they briefly changed to ‘oh fuck!,’ and that didn’t sate my hunger for answers for long — more ‘what the fuck?’s followed and they were more intense and confused than ever only to end the whole thing with one huge ‘WHAT THE FUCKITY FUCK??’

So, yeah.

The book of many questions that will be directly responsible for melting my brain.

Harrow’s POV was not as hilarious as Gideon’s but I enjoyed getting into her brain — even though her brain was fucked up and fucked with enormously. She was certainly not the most reliable narrator and she probably had more questions than me. Poor girl.

Not only was she stuck with the remanents of the Lyctors — who, I must say, were not as friendly as the happy gathering of the first book (and we know how THAT turned out) — but also she had to suffer them with her brain a mush.

Though, side note, they certainly know how to have fun.

And on the topic of fun — this book was even gayer than the first. I won’t say how or who or when but, hey, you’re in for a treat.

Oh, and 2nd person POV was a surprise, and what a sweet sweet surprise! 😉


  • Did you read about the space lesbian necromancers yet? Shout at me about it! Any theories, fic recs, fanart, etc., etc….


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14 thoughts on “Dual Review: Gideon the Ninth & Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir // Or, Lesbian Space Necromancers

  1. I haven’t read Gideon the Ninth yet (and your review did a GREAT job of conveying the hype without spoilers; wonderful job). What words did you learn when you were forced to reach for the dictionary? I’m more desperate than ever to read this series; I need a not-too-serious sci-fi story with lesbians in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely read it then! Haha, yeah, I tried to be as vague as I could lol but also I’ve hidden some inside jokes for those who read it 😀
      Hmm, my kindle says: sepulchre, soporific, folderol, chevet… and many many more!
      It’s definitely a meme mine but it’s still a horror and it will break your heart too! ❤


  2. Yes! to the second person POV. I normally refuse to read second person POV, but I loved Gideon the Ninth so much that I made an exception for the sequel, and I’m so glad I did.

    Best pay off of a grammatical choice ever!

    Liked by 1 person

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