Muir tackles a new perspective in this characteristically brilliant successor to Harrow the Ninth, which offers a much more personal and tightly framed focus than the rest of the Locked Tomb series. Nona’s been alive for six months with no memory of who she was before awakening in her new body. She enjoys working as a teacher’s aide, petting dogs, and hanging out with her squad of friends, and she has no desire to reckon with the world beyond her comfortable little life: the zombies, the resettlements, the giant blue sphere that hangs above her planet. But whether she likes it or not, Nona’s true identity is the key that shapes the empire, and with that empire in disarray, every force in the universe has their eyes on her, fixated on who she may have been and who she could become. Muir’s skill is such that readers will be desperate to find out the truth of Nona’s background but will still savor the quiet moments with this heartbreaking character. Nona’s lovely, simple, and occasionally silly voice works especially well in juxtaposition with the dark, dense backdrop of the series so far, creating a riveting contrast. Readers will be on the edges of their seats. (Sept.)
You will love Nona, and Nona loves you.” —Alix E. Harrow, New York Times bestselling author of The Once and Future Witches
“If you’ve read the first two books in this trilogy, I don’t need to say anything to persuade you to pick up Nona the Ninth. If you don’t know Muir’s characters and worlds yet, then, my god, I envy you. It’s hard to think of anyone more inventive, more audacious—more fun!—who is writing science fiction now.” —Kelly Link
“Nona’s lovely, simple, and occasionally silly voice works especially well in juxtaposition with the dark, dense backdrop of the series so far, creating a riveting contrast. Readers will be on the edges of their seats.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“One of the best sci-fi series of all time.” —Cosmopolitan
“Deathless devotion! Dyke drama! Obliteration! Nothing's fair in love and war, but damn if Nona doesn't make both fun.” —August Clarke, author of The Scapegracers
“A stunning rollercoaster of a read where Tasmyn ups the ante even further. She has a gorgeous talent for burning so many genres together that a new one rises from the ashes, sword at the ready and a delightful quip ready to go.” —Rin Chupeco, author of The Bone Witch
PRAISE FOR THE LOCKED TOMB SERIES
“Harrow the Ninth is a psychological rollercoaster covering forty billion light-years. It’s wonderful to see the universe of Gideon expand, while staying as twisted and full of bones as ever.” —Django Wexler
“Maddeningly brilliant.” —Kiersten White on Harrow the Ninth
“The patient reader will be rewarded tenfold with brilliant original characters and magic, heartbreaking intimacy, laugh out loud humor and the best damn soup in the galaxy.” —Rebecca Roanhorse on Harrow the Ninth
“Deft, tense and atmospheric, compellingly immersive and wildly original.” —The New York Times on Gideon the Ninth
“Brilliantly original, messy and weird straight through.” —NPR on Gideon the Ninth
“You’ve never read anything like... Gideon The Ninth.” —Forbes on Gideon the Ninth
“Unlike anything I’ve ever read.” —V.E. Schwab, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author on Gideon the Ninth
“From Gideon the Ninth's peerless first line, Gideon Nav is one of the most charismatic narrators I’ve ever met. I would walk through the bowels of hell with her, and basically have.” —Melissa Albert, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Hazel Wood on Gideon the Ninth
Nona feels she has a pretty good life: she loves her family, works with alot of people her age, gets to be around a nice dog almost every day, and hopes to celebrate her birthday with a party on the beach. Of course, all of this is overshadowed by the facts that her city—and the entire planet—is under threat of destruction; that the Emperor Undying may be coming; and that Pyrrha, Camilla, and Palamedes may care about her, but Nona is actually an intruder in someone else's body. Everyone seems to think Nona can save them from the Nine Houses, but she knows that to do that may mean she has to give up everything, including her own existence. This uniquely poignant arc of a young woman's search for an ordinary life within a very extraordinary world is both stunning in its simpler moments and shocking in its reveals. Readers get lost in the story lines, but Muir's clever prose always provides a path to the end. VERDICT Muir's third entry in "The Locked Tomb" series (after Harrow the Ninth) is as immersive and original as its predecessors.—Kristi Chadwick
The third installment of a necromantic science-fantasy series continues working at puzzles of identity and the meaning of loyalty.
Previously (Gideon the Ninth, 2019; Harrow the Ninth, 2020), sullen but brilliant necromancer Harrowhark consumed the soul of Gideon, her foulmouthed cavalier, to become a Lyctor, a semi-immortal officer in the Emperor Undying’s court. In a desperate attempt to preserve Gideon’s identity, Harrow deliberately erased the other woman from her memories, leaving herself confused to the point of delusion, unable to access her full powers, and vulnerable to enemies both within and without the Emperor’s court. This novel introduces Nona, a sweet but extraordinarily naïve young woman who appears to be in Harrowhark’s body but with Gideon’s golden eyes, lacking both necromantic abilities and any memories prior to six months ago. Nona’s been happy despite her precarious living situation in a war-torn city threatened by the necromantic Houses and their foe, the Blood of Eden. Unfortunately, what fragile peace she has cannot last, and everything depends on recovering Nona’s memories and returning to Harrowhark’s home in the Ninth House, there to finally release the deadly threat lurking in the Locked Tomb. But who is Nona, really: Harrowhark, Gideon, a blend of both young women…or someone else entirely? (The reader will figure it out long before the characters do.) Meanwhile, the Emperor and Harrowhark meet in dreams, where he recounts events of 10,000 years ago, when, as a newly fledged necromancer, his conflict with the corrupt trillionaires who planned to escape the dying Earth and leave the remaining billions to perish led to nuclear apocalypse. It’s pretty gutsy of Muir to write two books in a row about amnesiac characters, particularly when it may very well be the same character experiencing a different form of amnesia in each. This work initially reads like a strange interlude from the series, devoted to Nona’s odd but essentially quotidian routine in the midst of war, riot, and general chaos. But the story gradually gathers speed, and it’s all in service to a deeper plot. It is unfortunate that the demands of that plot mean we’ve gotten a considerably smaller dose of Gideon’s defiantly crude, riotously flouncy behavior in the two books subsequent to the one which bears her name.
A deceptively quiet beginning rockets to a thrilling finish, preparing us for the next volume’s undoubtedly explosive finale.