Book Notes: Gideon the Ninth

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Read Mar 31, 2021 - Apr 9, 2021

Gideon the Ninth is a rollicking poutpurri of genre tropes, including:

  • magic-wielding heir to a “House” (the system of Houses or the surrounding world is never explicated)
  • complex and fraught prince(ss)-knight relationships, often involving love/hate (with knights and princes are of every which gender)
  • hero(ine) overcoming a set of challenges in order to “ascend” (to a throne, or other position of power)
  • locked-mansion murder mystery (always a guaranteed nail-biter)
  • spaceships (becasuse, why not?)

Muir has a great sense of humor, and a good eye for characters and their relationships. And who doesn’t like a story about lesbian witches in space, raising skeletons?

Book Highlights

She got the depression. She lay in her cell, picking at life like it was a meal she didn’t want to eat.

“It is my privilege to no longer be of use,” said the captain.

“That leaves us critically shorthanded,” said the Eighth House necromancer, who could not be accused of having the milk of human kindness running through his veins. He did not even have the thin and tasteless juice of feigned empathy.

The tragedy saturated the stiffening bones and static hearts lying in state at Canaan House, but there was also deep tragedy in the flawed beams holding up their lives.

Lyctor LICK-tor. In order to facilitate “Lyctor? I hardly touched her,” stand-up routines in the Nine Houses. NOTE: Lyctor as in “lych,” but also as in Lictor, the Emperor’s guards.

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