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This is book number 1 in the The Locked Tomb Trilogy series.
Meet Gideon the Ninth, a sarcastic and sharply jaded swordswoman serving Harrowhark Nonagesimus, the necromancer of the Ninth House. When Gideon is caught trying to escape her life of servitude, her necromancer and childhood nemesis requires something of her before she can leave, that Gideon serve as her cavalier for a multi-house competition on another planet. What ensues is one of the wildest rides I’ve ever read, a glorious mashup of science fiction, dark fantasy, and horror set in a brilliant and violent world of secrets, skeletons, and swordsmanship. Lives are lost and loyalties are tested as houses and necromancers compete for power, and Gideon and Harrow must learn to trust each other’s strengths in order to survive. A book like no other and the first in a trilogy, the mythology of this world runs deep.— From Kelsey's Picks
“Gideon the Ninth is an epic science fantasy that if delivered into the hands of enough people will set the world on fire as it hasn’t been since The Hunger Games. Brilliance doesn’t come close to explaining Tamsyn Muir’s narrative where no single word is wasted or her engineering of a world with characters that end up belonging to you wholeheartedly even long after the last page. With fierce independence and hysterical wit, and laced with moments of pure heartbreaking tenderness and loyalty, Gideon and Harrow’s relationship simultaneously digs under your skin and tugs at your heartstrings. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.”
— Nichole Cousins, Still North Books & Bar, Brooklyn, NY
A USA Today Best-Selling Novel, and one of the Best Books of 2019 according to NPR, the New York Public Library, Amazon, BookPage, Shelf Awareness, BookRiot, and Bustle!
WINNER of the 2020 Crawford Award
Finalist for the 2020 Nebula Award
“Unlike anything I’ve ever read. ” —V.E. Schwab
“Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!” —Charles Stross
“Deft, tense and atmospheric, compellingly immersive and wildly original.” —The New York Times
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.
THE LOCKED TOMB TRILOGY
BOOK 1: Gideon the Ninth
BOOK 2: Harrow the Ninth
BOOK 3: Alecto the Ninth
“Deft, tense and atmospheric, compellingly immersive and wildly original.” —The New York Times
“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
"Warm and cold; goofy and gleaming; campy and epic; a profane Daria in space." —Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
“This crackling, inventive and riotous book from an original voice is a genuine pleasure. Also the author is clearly insane.” —Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan and Gun Machine
“Gideon the Ninth was a combination of all my absolute favorite things: swords and magic and spaceships and far future tech, plus childhood angst, slow-build romance, and characters banding together to solve mysteries in a haunted space palace.” —Martha Wells, author of the Murderbot Diaries
“I can't remember the last time I was so delightedly baffled by a book. An astonishing, genre-defying, hilarious-violent-tragic-horrifying-thrilling wonder of a novel. Muir has become an auto-read author faster than Gideon turns any conversation inappropriate.” —Kiersten White, NYT Bestselling Author of And I Darken
“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
“A glorious book—rich and baroque, tremendously vivid, absolutely glorious.” —Genevieve Cogman, author of the Invisible Library series
“Gideon the Ninth was a combination of all my absolute favorite things: swords and magic and spaceships and far future tech, plus childhood angst, slow-build romance, and characters banding together to solve mysteries in a haunted space palace.” —Martha Wells, New York Times Bestselling author of the Murderbot Diaries
“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
"Truly compelling fun. Muir’s impressive first novel offers a heady and macabre mix of science, necromancy, constant danger, and a healthy dollop of Gormenghast-like weirdness like no other."—Locus
“You’ve never read anything like Tamsyn Muir’s debut novel Gideon The Ninth.” —Forbes
“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
“Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space! Decadent nobles vie to serve the deathless emperor! Skeletons!” —Charles Stross, author of The Laundry Files and Empire Games
“Punchy, crunchy, gooey and gore-smeared, Gideon the Ninth is a pulpy science-fantasy romp that will delight and horrify you to the bitter end.” —Kameron Hurley, author of The Stars Are Legion and the Worldbreaker Saga
“By turns a slasher movie and a sorcerous slugfest, with a snarky protagonist and a deep, complicated relationship at its heart.” —Django Wexler, author of The Shadow Campaigns
“Necromancers! Dueling! Mayhem! Gideon the Ninth is disturbing and delightful in equal measure—I loved it to pieces.” —Yoon Ha Lee, author of the Hexarchate series and Dragon Pearl
“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
“[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 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’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
“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
“Muir weaves seamlessly between mystery, intrigue, and quest, and between science fiction and fantasy, to craft the start of a series that rivets and enthralls like the dark and dangerous magic it depicts.” —Lambda Literary
“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
“Gideon the Ninth is a unique and bloody bananapants book, and I do think it’s worth a reader’s curiosity. Gideon is an unforgettable protagonist. The world is creepy, sometimes bleak, and yet…still fun, almost like The Addam’s Family. And yes, there are lesbian necromancers in space.” —Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
“Readers, I’m dead. This book slayed me. You should get slayed, too. We should all be dead over Gideon the Ninth.” —Geekly, Inc
“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.” —Rebecca Roanhorse, author of Trail of Lightning
“Gideon the Ninth knocked me out. If you like snotty swordswomen, reanimated skeletons, porn zines, crumbling interplanetary empires, and angry lady necromancers, then shut up and get reading.” —Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim series
“Tasmyn Muir's prose is delicious enough to eat. Add in a sarcastic heroine with a knack for trouble, necromancy, cut-throat politics, and a hell of a lot of murders, and this is a novel every fantasy lover will savor.” —Rin Chupeco, author of The Bone Witch
“Festooned with skeletons, aglitter with technonecromantic delights, both middle fingers raised to the galaxy, Gideon the Ninth is a gothy Tank Girl-Meets-Utena-Meets-Gormenghast dueling wildcard mashup that has me positively giddy for the future of the genre.” —Max Gladstone, author of The Empress of Forever
“Muir has always, always had a sorcerously powerful way with voice, and I am positively giddy to announce that Gideon the Ninth is the ultimate culmination of her preternatural talents, a necromantic, calcium-rich delight that says "get in, nerd" on page 1, hits the gas with a disconcerting cackle, and doesn't let you out no matter how hard you howl. Gideon the Ninth is a bone-afied classic of the genre.” —Brooke Bolander, author of The Only Harmless Great Thing