Shelf Control #305: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Gideon the Ninth
Author: Tamsyn Muir
Published: 2019
Length: 448 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

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.

How and when I got it:

I bought a paperback at some point in the last two years (and picked up book #2, Harrow the Ninth, too).

Why I want to read it:

I remember seeing tons of reviews for this book when it came out, most using the tagline lesbian necromancers in space — and yes, that definitely grabbed my attention! I have reader friends who became obsessed with this book (and its sequel), although I’ve definitely seen my share of negative reviews as well.

This does seem like something I’d love, and I’m excited to read it. I think the only reason I haven’t so far is that when I first planned to get started, I got a little intimidated by what seemed like a lot of world-building to absorb up front, and I just wasn’t in the right state of mind to focus at that moment. But now I’m ready!

The third book, Nona the Ninth, comes out later this year, so this seems like a good time to finally dive in.

What do you think? Have you read this book, and if so, do you recommend it? Or if you haven’t read it, does this sound like something you’d want to read?

Please share your thoughts!


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

4 thoughts on “Shelf Control #305: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

  1. I ended up enjoying this a lot, but it was a struggle in the first half. I still haven’t read the second book and I’m not sure if I will. But I’m curious to hear your thoughts!

    • I end up getting intimidated any time I pick up a book and there’s a character list or other sort of info outline at the beginning — I always feel like the book will be work! That doesn’t mean that I don’t end up enjoying them once I actually start, but it’s a little off-putting, and that was my experience when I picked up this one. I’m going to try again!

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