The Book’s Basics
Title: Harrow the Ninth
Author: Tamsyn Muir
Series: Yes. This is book two of the Locked Tomb Trilogy.
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 510 pages
Initial Reaction: Confusing, but I enjoyed it.
***Please note that this post will contain spoilers for the first book, Gideon the Ninth***
Harrowhark has ascended to Lyctorhood – kinda. She is living on a massive space station surrounded by an asteroid field with some of the most powerful beings in the universe, including The Necrolord Prime (AKA God).
She is not considered to be a full Lyctor because when she leaves her body to go into the River, her cavalier, who died so that she could devour their soul and become a Lyctor, doesn’t take over to defend her body. Throw in having to deal with one of the ancient Lyctors regularly trying to murder her, learning how to destroy the souls of planets, and God earnestly trying to make her eat biscuits (not a euphemism) – there is a lot going on in this book.
Harrow is confused by a lot of what is happening and has happened. She feels very isolated. The only person she feels comfortable around is a dead woman who nobody else can see.
Who would I recommend this book to?
This book is cleverly written and there is a lot to keep in mind while reading it, especially regarding events and characters from the previous book. I felt a bit lost for a lot of it, but I believe this is done intentionally as the protagonist, Harrow, also doesn’t really know what’s going on.
I would recommend this book to people who like a mix of Science Fiction and Fantasy, with heavy leanings towards Sci-Fi. It has a much different feel from the first book in the series, in that it is not as straightforward and there is a different narrator. I found myself regularly getting confused with new chapters – when one mystery was more or less solved, at least two more would crop up.
I did really enjoy it by the end and I’m glad that I kept reading, but there are a lot of unanswered questions still by the end. When Alecto the Ninth, the third and final book of the series is released, I am going to read it as soon as possible – after I’ve reread the first two books. I think that this will be a very interesting book to reread. I’ll be able to look out for foreshadowing and I think I’ll be able to appreciate the craft of the writing more instead of being distracted by being confused by what’s happening in the story.