Jul 172020

Booklist: This mind-bending sequel focuses on Harrow, the leader and last child of the Ninth House, who became a Lyctor at great cost in Gideon the Ninth (2019). But the course of Lyctorhood does not run smoothly for Harrow, who often hallucinates and remembers the events of Gideon much differently than the reader will; also, she may be haunted. Meanwhile, learning to use her new, almost unlimited necromantic power proves difficult given her mental instability, the unwillingness of her near-immortal tutors to impart their wisdom, and the imminent destruction of the Empire by vengeful, ghostly forces. Secreted on an isolated space station waiting for their doom to arrive, Harrow’s frenemy and fellow new Lyctor Ianthe offers precious little in the way of support, while the Emperor cuts a disturbingly paternal figure. Muir presents a series of enigmas and revels in gory detail before bringing everything to a riveting, no-holds-barred conclusion that will leave readers both satisfied and gnashing their teeth for the finale. Fans of a blend of horror, mystery, dark humor, and the uncanny found in books like Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook (2012) will want to start with the first Ninth House book, then devour this one.