Apr 202020

Library Journal: The Reverend Daughter Harrowhark Nonagesimus was the last necromancer of the Ninth House. Now she is Harrowhark the First, a Lyctor in service to the Emperor, the Undying King. But those in service hold both sword and power, and Harrow seems to be able to do neither. Her sword makes her physically ill, her body is failing, and her mind seems not far behind. Trapped in space with three seasoned Lyctors who seem to hate Harrow, training alongside a woman she detests, Harrow comes to realize that the war she drills for is as undying as her God — and cannot be won. Amid the chaos, Harrow discovers that someone wants her dead, and worse, she is unsure if that may not be the best thing that can happen to her. Multiple jaunts into memories and a few familiar faces bring forth delightful, bloody action and character building.

VERDICT An incredible journey into the chaos of the mind, Muir’s latest (after Gideon the Ninth) doubles down on all the wonderfully queer and pulpy moments, body horror, and macabre humor of her debut — and exceeds it.