Top positive review
Dark, Complex, Riveting, Unexpected. Outstanding.
Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2019
Ninth House is more densely written, and more structurally complex, than Leigh Bardugo’s (altogether brilliant) Grishaverse novels, novellas, and short stories, with details that are a little grittier, darker, maybe even meaner than what she’s written before. It weaves backwards and forwards in time to allow Galaxy “Alex” Stern’s mystery to unfold like a flower unfurling its petals, and while those petals are dark, indeed, they are none the less dazzling and beautiful for their darkness. As with all of Ms. Bardugo’s work, the story does not go quite where you might have thought it would when you started reading, because there is nothing simplistic or predictable or formulaic about the writer. Where it does go, however, is into an eminently satisfying denouement which will leave you eager for more. The plot-twists may be completely unexpected and unpredictable, but they do not come out of left field. You can see, as you read the twists, how all the threads leading to them have been well and subtly woven into the fabric of the narrative, even if you were so busy following other thread patterns that you didn’t see these particular patterns emerging. You are left, not feeling cheated or blindsided, but dazzled and satisfied. And impatient for the next book in the series. Ninth House is an outstanding book by one of the best fantasy writers working today. Enjoy.