Harrow the Ninth

Harrow the Ninth

Book - 2020 | First edition
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"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."--Publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Tom Doherty Associates, 2020
Edition: First edition
Branch Call Number: SCIENCE FICTION MUI
Characteristics: 510 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9781250313225
1250313228

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From Library Staff

This book absolutely blew my mind. I spent most of it saying variations of "what the HECK just happened" out loud, in a good way. Not a series for the faint of heart (necromancy, murder, mild body horror), but some of the most creative storytelling I've ever seen and the rare sequel tha... Read More »


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JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Mar 26, 2021

Super weird and seemingly only tangentially connected to Book 1 until about 3/4 in, when the whole thing mostly clicks into place. It's a testament to the author and the characters that the reader sticks around for the pay off. Definitely start with Gideon the Ninth...this book does not stand alone.

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lyderz
Mar 03, 2021

If this is an incoherent mess, blame the fact that I’m trying to tackle the most mind bending book I have ever read, in my first review… so here we go.

I’ll preface this by saying that I absolutely adored Gideon the Ninth, and so I went into this book with the confident, giddy, ease of someone who thought she was in for a smooth continuation of that story. You could say that I was immediately disoriented. If reading Gideon the Ninth was like trying to piece together a puzzle, Harrow the Ninth was like being dropped into the middle of a pitch dark maze. A maze with lit up exit signs that turn out to be misleading lies, transporting you right back to the start. It’s frustrating in a truly agonizing and addicting type of way that I have never experienced from a book before. Maybe that’s why I loved it.

As suggested by the title, we delve into all things Harrow. I thoroughly enjoyed wading through the depths of her character. There’s not much I can say without spoiling anything… but I think this book managed to be a nice middle point between being a character study and being plot driven. There’s mystery, extensions of earlier world building, intriguing new characters and high stakes pushing the narrative right alongside the ordeal of being Harrowhark Nonagesimus.

Let's talk a little about pacing because this book can be a bit daunting. Like I said, the beginning was a shock, we have crazy things going on with timelines and perspectives that might take awhile to get used to but after the initial confusion, it was all intrigue for me. I never lost interest, fueled by the maddening need to make it make sense. I realize that not all readers will enjoy this type of perpetual confusion but I personally think it’s worth it by the end. If you ever do find yourself in a slump with this book I’d recommend at least trying to get to Act 4 because I think that really is when the story hits a turning point. At this point things start to add up and speed up as well.

To wrap this up I’ll say that I’m typically a pretty emotional reader but this book took it to a new level. I laughed, I gasped, I sniffled and sobbed at 2am. There were lines that stopped me in my tracks and passages that I had to read over again and read aloud. It’s got gore that genuinely freaked me out, and tragedy written all over it. This is one of those books that is going to be a completely new experience upon rereading, which I am definitely looking forward to. Because what else is there to do with my life while I wait for Alecto the Ninth?!

s
ScorchingSun
Feb 23, 2021

At 30% mark...
If you compare the first novel to a hard gravelly road, then this sequel is like a dull dirt path, muddled and weak.

q
QCue
Feb 13, 2021

This (and the first book in this trilogy, Gideon the Ninth) are absolutely the best! The diction is clever, the characters are ingenious and hilarious and the complexity of plot is fascinating. With prominent queer characters and strong women leads, Harrow is truly a must read for all fans of dark satire sci-fantasy. I loved this and the first book and can't wait for the third!

LoganLib_Sheridan Jan 09, 2021

These books are not easy to read. You're just kind of along for the ride until the end of the book when things start coming together. I thought it was because I listened to Gideon but I read Harrow in traditional book form and was still mostly lost.

This is not helped by the fact that the author also enjoys explosive endings so you're kind of lost as to how to connect the beginning of Harrow with the ending of Alecto. Harrow is also written in two timelines with the POV changing to indicate at what point of the timeline the story is being told from. SLIGHT SPOILER: This is also a clue!

Despite being mostly lost throughout the book I still enjoyed getting more of Harrow's character though I'm not really getting where (SLIGHT SPOILER?) Gideon's assessment of it is coming from in that I don't agree with it an don't feel it connects with the Harrow we met in the first book.

As with Gideon this book is very relationship and character focused with very little action until the end where everything comes together. I definitely like these type of books though they can be a bit harder to get into.

I feel like there is STILL stuff to be explained (which is probably why there is a third book coming). The ending somehow manages to outdo Gideon (really, how?!) and is action-packed, chaotic, and explosive with big reveals.

I think this is the kind of book that will increase in interest and enjoyability in re-reading. Unfortunately I just did not have time to reread Gideon before Harrow (I have also been cutting down on re-reading books, especially for reading the next book in a series).

Going to be honest I kind of love and miss Gideon's voice. There was just something so authentic and to be honest, Australian, about it. It's somehow no-nonsense and complete nonsense at the same time.

In Harrow we get a slightly disjointed and confused voice which reflects Harrow as she struggles with world around her, mostly with understanding and keeping up with other characters motives in a life or death situation.

FPL_Annie Nov 07, 2020

This genre-bending, deranged, and utterly delightful second installment in Muir's Locked Tomb trilogy absolutely smashed my expectations. And there are so many bones! I love bones.

JessicaGma Nov 03, 2020

Gideon the Ninth was an incredible book, but I spent a lot of this one wondering what the effing hell was going on. Between the various timelines, and wondering about that ending to Gideon, Harrow was a difficult character to grasp. I suppose it will come together at the end of the trilogy, but this one was a slog to get through

f
FrankieDay419
Aug 27, 2020

I read this the weekend after it released, and I've got to say I'm a bit disappointed. If you've read Gideon the Ninth and want to make it to the end of this trilogy, obviously, you're going to want to read this. But start with Gideon FIRST if you haven't, and go from there. I know that the author is trying to get us to get to the finale of this trilogy, but this felt too much like a filler book. Fortunately, Tamsyn Muir could make watching paint dry at least a bit interesting, so, this still gets 4/5 stars from me. It's just frustrating knowing that she could do better.

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eshook1
Aug 24, 2020

How did she manage to write a book even better than the first?

So fun. So impressive.

p
paperclypse2
Aug 15, 2020

A bold sequel! Definitely read Gideon the Ninth first.

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lyderz
Mar 04, 2021

"I was nothing but a chess move in a thousand-year game." -Tamsyn Muir

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