Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

“Queer necromancers vie for power, solve ancient puzzles, and cross rapiers while exploring haunted deep-space ruins in this madcap science fantasy romp that manages to be both riotously funny and heartbreaking. Eighteen-year-old orphan Gideon Nav has spent her life devising ways to escape indentured servitude to the Ninth House. When Harrowhark Nonagesimus, the sole daughter and heir to the Ninth, sees a chance to become a Lyctor, right hand to the Necromancer Divine, she needs a cavalier by her side if she hopes to beat out the candidates of the other eight Houses—and only Gideon will do. Much as her necromancers do with human remains, Muir effortlessly compiles macabre humor, body horror, secrets, and tenderness into the stitched-together corpse of a dark universe, then brings it to life with a delightfully chaotic, crackling cast of characters and the connective tissue of their relationships. From the mad science joys of necromantic theory to the deliciously ever-evolving tension between Gideon and Harrow, this adventurous novel not only embraces its strangeness but wrings delight from it. The result is an addictive, genre-bending book that will wow readers with its vibrant energy, endearing cast, and emotional gut-punch of a finale.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review