I’ve by no means absolutely understood the plot of any of the books in Tamsyn Muir’s gutsy, gory, wonderful Locked Tomb sequence. At this level, with the third quantity Nona the Ninth in my palms and its predecessors Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth on my cabinets, I’ve made up my thoughts to not strive. As an alternative, I wade peacefully into each quantity with the information that I’m going to expertise some lesbian necromancers in area, and in any other case I exist in a blissful state of “head empty, simply vibes.”
Notable vibes of Nona the Ninth: Canine being good. Swordfights. A 13-year-old named Scorching Sauce who’s one of the best cool woman gang chief you might anticipate to fulfill on any planet. Necromantic battles. A discovered household making an attempt to get their candy downside baby to eat. Zombie armies. Extra Catholicism than you would possibly anticipate! Two lesbian princes going through off. Nuclear warfare.
When the Locked Tomb sequence left off, our protagonists Gideon (candy jock) and Harrow (goth princess) have been in separate locations, each in ambiguous states of aliveness. Harrow was deep within the purgatorial afterlife area generally known as the River. Gideon, who died on the finish of Ebook One, was possessing Harrow’s physique. As Harrow the Ninth ended, stated physique seemed to be within the palms of badass swordswoman and licensed babe Camilla Hect, and it was unclear who was animating it.
With Nona the Ninth, we meet the entity at the moment inhabiting Harrow’s physique. Her identify is Nona, she has no recollections, and it’s unclear if she could be Harrow, Gideon, some mixture of each, or another person fully.
(Sure, this does imply Muir has written a second Locked Tomb e book in a row during which the protagonist’s recollections have been altered or erased indirectly. Go together with it!)
What we all know for positive is that Nona, whose head we’re in for the majority of this novel, is a charmer. Six months after the top of Harrow, she considers herself to be six months previous. She is complacently useless, childishly impulsive, and passionately dedicated to her grownup guardians, her faculty pals, and canines in equal measure. She loves butt jokes, finds each swords and bones boring, crushes madly on each significantly sturdy girl she crosses paths with, and might perceive any language. Oh, and one thing mysterious and horrifying occurs when she will get mad.
Nona resides on an unnamed planet that doesn’t look like part of the necromantic Empire we’ve spent the remainder of this sequence exploring. This planet exists in a way more easy universe, far nearer to our up to date world than the gothic fantasia of the Empire: a spot with quick meals eating places and workplace buildings and completely no magic by any means. There, Nona goes about her every day lifetime of attending faculty and plotting the visitor record for her forthcoming one-year party. (She needs to have it on the seashore, and would love each canine of her acquaintance to attend, particularly the one with six legs. Muir has given me her blessing to guarantee you that the canine lives.) Within the background, darkish machinations are in progress, of which Nona seems to be solely half conscious.
The refugees who flock to this planet think about necromancers to be zombies, and so they dwell in concern of falling underneath zombie management. This political ambiance makes issues tough for Nona’s guardians, who embrace a number of acquainted names and faces from the Empire — though stated names and the faces don’t all the time mix within the methods we’re used to. The body-sharing of this universe is barely getting extra difficult! The entire guardians, nonetheless, are cooperating warily with The Blood of Eden, the militant anti-imperial group we discovered of within the earlier two volumes.
What’s happening within the Empire whereas Nona writes her visitor record and her guardians assist plot its destruction? We get a peek in that path ultimately. However earlier than then, most of our glimpses into the Empire are trying not at its current, however at its origin. In periodic interstitials, we see John the Emperor-God in an apocalyptic dreamscape with Harrow, telling her the story of how he went from being just a few man named John to being some man named John with godlike powers.
It’s right here that we study extra about the important thing to Muir’s mythology, and the metaphor dwelling at its coronary heart. That metaphor is each extra Catholic and extra present than the remainder of this sequence let on, and it comes along with such tenderness and urgency that it might, like a Lyctor on a rampage, rip the center proper out of you.
Then Nona, who urgently calls for to specific her like to everybody she has ever met, will deliver your coronary heart again to life once more.
Nona the Ninth is a misleading e book: Its sweetness hides tooth, after which its tooth disguise extra sweetness. So long as you go in with out anticipating fancy issues like having the ability to perceive each element of the motion in a literal and simple method, it’ll deal with you proper.