Ninth House | Book Review 05

We dive into the dark world of adult fantasy this week with a book review of Ninth House. It is the first book in Leigh Bardugo‘s Alex Stern Series.

“We all have spaces we keep blank.”

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo


Leigh Bardugo has created a dark magical world of fantasy in the the form of Yale’s secret societies in Ninth House. She touches on a lot of hardships throughout the book. She does this by showing a young woman’s life, both present and past, of trauma and how she is healing.

Published in 2019, Ninth House will be the first of hopefully many in Bardugo’s Alex Stern series.

A bit of Plot

After Galaxy “Alex” Stern was left as the only survivor in a multiple homicide that is still a mystery, she is given a second chance to turn her life around. As a school drop out in California, Alex went into the life of drug dealing. Life decisions and events lead up to the horrific murder of her friends. In her hospital bed she is given an opportunity to change her life around as a freshman at Yale.

Still searching for answers about herself and why she was given a full ride to Yale, she sets off into the life of Lethe, the ninth house of The Ancient Eight. Between learning the ways of Yale’s secret societies and her role in this new world of magic, Alex encounters a murder. A murder that she aims to solve but is left to uncover the dark occult that is taking over the houses.

“That was what magic did. It revealed the heart of who you’d been before life took away your belief in the possible.”

My Takeaways

As you jump between the past and present, you are shown a world of trauma and how it affects you. This book is a fantasy that is so dark, it leads you through horrible events and gives you empowerment for the future.

I will say this again, this is a DARK FANTASY. It is full of triggers like, rape, murder, drug overdose, suicide, racism, and the effects of PTSD. It is not for the light-hearted when it comes to fantasy. But it is extremely well done.

Beautifully Written

Bardugo’s style of writing is so alluring. It makes you want to keep reading to hear how she transforms grim experiences into life lessons. The way she handles some touchy situations gives life to the words and really makes you feel what the characters are experiencing.

“It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed.”

Slowly Enticing

The book is very slow paced but with it Bardugo sets up Alex’s stage for the many more books to come in the series. I believe that since this is the first book it has a lot of information that will hold together the foundation of the series. Once you break through all of the information you find yourself diving head first into action packed ending. With twists you never imagined coming, the whole book is beyond entertaining.

“People didn’t need magic to be terrible to each other.”

Darkly Informative

Like I said this is a very dark fantasy book and I recommend only reading it if you are in a good head space. This isn’t the kind of Harry Potter fantasy you are used to. This is new and fresh and enlightening. Bardugo brings to light so many life hardships that it can really drain you and make you think twice about the actions you create and have faced in this world.

“Beautiful boys who should be happy, who wanted for nothing but still found things to take.”

Leaves you with a Thought

Ninth House makes you step back and take a look at the world we are living in. How we give privilege to those undeserving and how a single event can take away your freedom.

Final Remarks

I have found a new sub genre to love. I love fantasy but Ninth House doesn’t compare to anything I have read before. I am truly excited to see how this world plays out in the next addition of Leigh Bardugo’s Alex Stern series.

“I am a daughter of Lethe, and the wolves are at the door.”

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Find out more and get your copy at Goodreads

Check out my latest reviews in my Book Review Series

NO EXIT by Taylor Adams

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Special Event Announcement

If you have been following my posts the last few months, you may have picked up on a few things like: The constant mentioning of Riley Sager and his three books being grouped together in book review photos. This is because starting June 11th I will be hosting…

Sager Saga | Book Review Event

Riley Sager's first three books for Book Reviews


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The last three Thursday’s in June, I will be devoting my Book Review Series to Riley Sager. I will be reviewing and holding discussions for one of his first three books each week. This is all leading up to the release of his new book, Home Before Dark, on June 30th. The perfect way to celebrate a book release is reading, discussing, and celebrating that author.

Join me in this celebration and check out the official Sager Saga Page, for more information.

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What you will find

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