2020 Reviews · Queer books

Review: Harrow the Ninth

Title: Harrow the Ninth

Author: Tamsyn Muir

Genre: Science Fiction (Space Opera)


She answered the Emperor’s call.

She arrived with her arts, her wits, and her only friend.

In victory, her world has turned to ash.

After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. 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.

Sealed in the gothic gloom of the Emperor’s Mithraeum with three unfriendly teachers, hunted by the mad ghost of a murdered planet, Harrow must confront two unwelcome questions: is somebody trying to kill her? And if they succeeded, would the universe be better off?

Publisher: Tor.com

Publication Date: August 4th, 2020

Format: Hardcover, 512pages

Where to Buy:

Barnes & Noble | Third Place Books | Powell’s Books

Book Depository | Amazon

This review does NOT contain spoilers for Harrow the Ninth. It DOES contain spoilers for Gideon the Ninth.

Rating: 💀💀💀💀💀


I will try to not spend this whole review screaming incomprehensibly.

I LOVE this book. I love it with my whole soul.

That being said, this was also one of the most confusing books I have ever read. Like, Gideon was confusing, but Harrow took confusion to a whole new level. And it is 10000% worth it.

At its heart, Harrow the Ninth is about loss and grief and how we have to choose between moving on, and staying within our suffering. Tamsyn Muir does an incredible job navigating Harrow’s grief after she loses Gideon. I won’t go into details as to avoid spoilers but readers from all walks of life will be able to relate to Harrow and her grief. I don’t often read books that deal with loss and grief on the level that Muir does here and it was both heartbreaking and refreshing. Muir doesn’t gloss over or hide just how truly debilitating grief can be and she handles it with such care and respect.

Going beyond the grief, Muir expands upon the world she began to lay out in Gideon, making readers question what they know and if that knowledge can be trusted. Old and new characters come together to tell a remarkably confusing and thought provoking story that make Harrow impossible to put down. And if you put it down it’s because you have to go scream in a pillow for a while.

This is a truly original work of fiction that will stick with you long past the first page.

Favorit Quote:

This was my favorite quote from Harrow and it’s also one of my favorite quotes ever. I want this on my gravestone. After reading this I had to put the book down and just…breath.

Also in this series:

Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #1)

Alecto the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #3: forthcoming 2021)

If you have read Harrow I would love to talk about it with you! I need someone to scream with about my favorite lesbian necromancer.


3 thoughts on “Review: Harrow the Ninth

  1. Brilliant post! I love how you’ve phrased your review – it was a complicated (and confusing omg) book. Honestly I preferred Harrow to Gideon in the first book and I was really interested to hear her side of the story. Although it didn’t help that we couldn’t trust her narrative. I totally agree – it started slow, but the final chapters were worth it for me. Here’s my review: https://hundredsandthousandsofbooks.blog/2020/09/11/harrow-the-ninth-to-read-in-the-event-of-your-imminent-obsession/

    Liked by 1 person

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