Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Book One of The Locked Tomb Trilogy
Published by Tor
Gideon and Harrow have been rivals since childhood. Going neck to neck and fighting whenever the opportunity presented itself. But now as Harrow is called to take one of the ultimate tests of necromancy, she needs Gideon’s sword arm to watch her back. Promised with her freedom if Harrow succeeds, Gideon agrees to take up her sword. But as they begin to unravel the mysteries of the Lyctors, necromancers who have gone beyond a simple raising of bones and spirit, they will find that not everything is as it seems. While death is nothing new to necromancers, are they willing to make the necessary sacrifices?
Spaceships and necromancy are two elements I never thought I would see combined in a story. They just shouldn’t work together. Well, Gideon the Ninth smashed that thought. Not only is there a healthy dose of dark magic and battle, but there is also betrayal, mystery, and plenty of death to go around. The perfect mix to keep me reading!
Gideon walks the fine line between friend and foe, love and hate between the characters she meets. This atmosphere creates an abundance of conflict and action. Reading this novel is like experiencing a twisted and dark version of Clue. People are dying, and fingers are being pointed in all directions. But of course, dying is the art of the necromancers, yet even they are left to scramble to put the pieces back together. Sometimes quite literally.
I do admit there were certain areas where the necromancers would start talking and my mind would fog over. I didn’t understand the different types or the way it worked, but the main character Gideon didn’t either. I want to think this was done on purpose, but I also wanted to understand what was going on. I had to reference the various houses and their powers multiple times to try and grasp what each one was doing. This is definitely a book for readers who do not mind hitting the ground running and trying to absorb as much information as possible to work out their own understanding.
Given the description of the book, I did expect more dark humor. Gideon carried the humor with her sarcastic remarks, but it wasn’t enough to lighten the mood. Do not approach this book thinking it will be light reading. This is a book steeped in taboo and dealing with the darker parts of humanity. Then again, with necromancers involved, it is assumed that the content will be rather macabre. Dark fantasy to the core, this is a great read. I cannot wait for the next book to be released!
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