In the myriadic year of our lord — the ten thousandth year of the King Undying, the kindly Prince of Death! — Gideon Nav packed her sword, her shoes and her dirty magazines, and she escaped from the House of the Ninth.
This is the opening of the book. Does this entice you to read this book? It did me. I even took the time to look at my personal library of books and pick out a few of my favorites and read the opening lines; this one is still the best. The story has everything in it, science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, and probably western if I looked hard enough. I was reminded of Harry Potter and comedy shows from the seventies like Barney Miller and M.A.S.H.. This book is truly a favorite of mine and many publications have it in their top ten list and the best science fiction book of 2019.
The story takes place in the future, or maybe the past, it’s hard to say the story works better this way. Somewhere in the corner of the universe exist nine houses the heirs of each house have special abilities, such as, raising the dead or sucking the life out of a person. The Underlying Emperor request from each loyal house a necromancer and their best bodyguard to send to an old run down mansion filled with monsters and ghost. At the mansion they will face a series of test to become lyctors for the Emperor, if anyone survives.
Everyone wants to be a lyctor. Lyctors are the cool kids on the block. Lyctors have super powers, live forever, and work for God (The Emperor). The Ninth sends Lady Harrow the heir to the Ninth House, and Gideon as her bodyguard. Gideon has tried to escape the Ninth House over 600 times. Gideon is skilled in fighting and better at being sarcastic. Gideon and Harrow hate each other and they must overcome their hate to survive. No one really expects anyone to survive because there is a monster in the house and this monster is hungry. After landing near the mansion, all the space shuttles are pushed into the sea and all communication cut off. Enjoy the ride.
Gideon the Ninth earns its reputation as being the best science fiction book of the year but it’s much more than science fiction. The book is like a roller coaster of suspense, horror, comedy, and science fiction. The main characters, Harrow, a black hooded, black gowned daughter of the Ninth can kill anyone at the flick of her wrist. Gideon, is a foul-mouthed, sarcastic, gay protector of Harrow with a skull painted on her face. Both characters are interesting and their hate for each other played perfectly to their abilities.
I give Gideon the Ninth five out of five stars.