Locus: …if you’re not already a fan, this is not the place to start. Go directly to Gideon the Ninth. If you love it, read Harrow the Ninth, and then read this. If you don’t love it, Nona the Ninth is not for you. Also, we can’t be friends. (Actually, let me dial that back – for all I know this is a valid place to start. Given Muir’s astonishing skill, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it turned out the books had been painstakingly constructed so you could read them in any order and be equally bewildered and delighted….)
So, the bottom-line question that confronts a reviewer of this book is, if you loved Gideon and Harrow, will you love Nona? And: obvs. You already know.
Nona the Ninth is very on brand in that it completely scraps the previous book. That’s right: all that painstaking lore and the complex relationships and shifting webs of allegiances you spent hundreds of pages learning? Right out the window. And – still on brand – it works, somehow.
Bottom line: Tamsyn Muir can do anything. Like Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth, Nona keeps on attempting the most audacious, ridiculous, awe-inspiring feats of storytelling – and nailing it every single time. As an author I’d be nauseous with jealousy, if I wasn’t having such an ecstatic, blissful time. Nona the Ninth manages to be non-stop fun–and hilariously funny – and deeply, painfully, blisteringly moving. Sometimes all in the same paragraph.