REVIEW: Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir *Hugo Award Winner*


Harrow the Ninth is the follow-up to the mind-shatteringly wonderful Gideon the Ninth. After recovering from the book hangover Gideon caused, I waited patiently (read: not patiently at all) for the sequel.

Without giving any spoilers for either book, I will say that the ending of the first left me with a thousand questions about how a sequel would work, and with the bar set so high after the quality of the first book, I approached this book with a quiet apprehension that any fan of a series with terrible sequels know all too well. 

The beginning of the book was jarring for many reasons. Firstly, it took a while to get used to the second-person POV the majority of the book was written in and, secondly, I hated Harrowhark for the majority of the first book and now I was in her story. 

With that said, Muir does an amazing job of achieving the nearly impossible: changing a reader’s mind. For most of the first book, the main character, Gideon, loathes Harrowhark with a fierceness that leaves the reader no choice but to do the same. However, events unravel and our hearts thaw toward the death-cloaked ice princess (One flesh, one end). 

Without the comfort blanket of Gideon’s POV, we are left alone with Harrow, who is slowly recovering from the events of the first book, and thrust into an entirely new setting with a new cast of characters. 
I was able to work out the twist early on, however, I wouldn’t advise any future readers to try to sleuth it out. Instead, relax into the delicious ride that Muir has in-store for you. All will be revealed just in time for new questions to start forming. 

Everything that you loved from the first book gets turned on its head in this one, enemies become confidants, the Great and Holy God becomes that guy in the friend group that everyone tends to gravitate around, and you completely forget the story threads from the first book – UNTIL everything explodes in your face like a landmine you never saw coming. 

Muir’s voice drips through this novel like maple syrup, it sticks to every sentence and leaves residue on every character. Full of bones, quirk, madness, and grit, this book leaves you wanting more and more of it as it goes on.

It’s as addictive as it is wild, and every page holds new discoveries and insults you’ll want to remember for the next time someone looks at you sideways. 

VIEWED BY: Laynie Bynum, Story Pick Editorial Contributor