Perfect for readers of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, The Ninth House is set in our world but positively crackles with dark magic! Many readers know Leigh Bardugo’s talent for creating nuanced characters with their own set of questionable ethics from her wildly popular YA fantasies including Six of Crows (and if you don’t know that book, please find a copy right now because it’s one of the best books EVER). Bardugo wrote her latest for adults and will no doubt expand her crowd of devoted fans. Main character Galaxy “Alex” Stern had been tormented by ghosts interfering with her life for as long as she can remember. Her ability to see the dead catches the attention of a dean at Yale University, who offers twenty-year-old Alex a full ride. Surprising since she never even graduated from high school, and the too-good-to-be-true offer does come with a catch. Alex is required to become a watchdog, keeping an eye on Yale’s eight secret societies whose practice of magic to manipulate politics, the stock market, and more is both chilling and dangerous. And they don’t appreciate being scrutinized. After years submerged in LA’s drug culture, always on the verge of homelessness, Alex’s hope that if she could just somehow make this chance work out is really poignant. Then a town girl turns up dead. When the easy answers don’t satisfy Alex, she realizes how seriously she takes her new job. I liked how the author juxtaposes a tough and street-smart character against the privileged prep school crowd at Yale, giving her exactly the qualities that just might help her survive freshman year. Bardugo’s plot is clever and her writing as mesmerizing as always. All I could think as I turned the last page was “how long until the sequel?”— From Jenny's Staff Recommendations
October 2019 Indie Next List
“Queen Leigh’s first foray into adult fantasy is a sensational success! One of the best fantasy books I’ve read in a long while, Ninth House contains Yale secret societies, ghosts, magic, morally gray characters, and murder. Bardugo balances dual timelines with intricate precision, and the history and world-building of her fantastical New Haven is superb. I couldn’t put this book down; I had to know what was going to happen next. I savored every moment reading this novel, and I am jealous of readers who get to experience it for the first time!”
— Isabella Ogbolumani, Page 1 Books, Evanston, IL
A LOCUS AWARD FINALIST!
The mesmerizing adult debut from Leigh Bardugo, a tale of power, privilege, dark magic, and murder set among the Ivy League elite
Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?
Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.
About the Author
Leigh Bardugo is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse (coming soon to Netflix) which spans the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, the Six of Crows Duology, The Language of Thorns, and the King of Scars duology. Her short stories can be found in multiple anthologies, including Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy. Leigh was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Southern California, and graduated from Yale University. These days she lives and writes in Los Angeles.
"Ninth House is the best fantasy novel I’ve read in years, because it’s about real people. Bardugo’s imaginative reach is brilliant, and this story—full of shocks and twists—is impossible to put down." - Stephen King
"Ninth House is one of the best fantasy novels I’ve read in years. This book is brilliant, funny, raw and utterly magnificent — it's a portal to a world you’ll never want to leave." - Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians
"Ninth House is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. There’s so much magic here that you'll begin to feel it seeping into the room around you as you read, and characters so real you ’ll practically hear their voices in your ear. Leigh Bardugo has written a book so delicious, so twisty, and so immersive I wouldn’t blame you for taking the day off to finish it." - Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners and Get in Trouble.
"Leigh Bardugo's Ninth House rocked my world. I could not get enough of sinewy, ghost-haunted Alex Stern, a heroine for the ages. With a bruised heart and bleeding knuckles, she risks death and damnation — again and again — for the people she cares about. I was cheering her on the whole way: from the first brilliant sentence of this book to the last. More, please, Ms. Bardugo." - Joe Hill, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2
"In this mesmerizing novel, Leigh Bardugo introduces us to Alex, a high-school dropout who gets a free ride to Yale because of a unique talent. Bardugo's New Haven is plausible and frightening, and I was one rapt reader." - Charlaine Harris, bestselling author of the True Blood series
"With an aura of both enchantment and authenticity, Bardugo's compulsively readable novel leaves a portal ajar for equally dazzling sequels." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Atmospheric...Part mystery, part story of a young woman finding purpose in a dark world." - Booklist (starred review)
"Genuinely terrific...The worldbuilding is rock solid, the plot is propulsive, and readers will be clamoring for a sequel as soon as they read the last page." - Library Journal (starred review)
"Excellent...Bardugo gives [her protagonist] a thoroughly engaging mix of rough edge, courage and cynicism." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Instantly gripping...Creepy and thrilling...The world of this book is so consistent and enveloping that pages seem to rush by." - BookPage (starred review)
“Simultaneously elegant and grotesque, eerie and earthbound...Wry, uncanny, original and, above all, an engrossing, unnerving thriller.” - The Washington Post