I recently read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, this was book number 38 in this year’s read count and one I was really excited to get to! When you look up Dark Academia books, this one is right up there with likes of Atlas Six on all the lists but to be honest, I’m a huge Bardugo fan so I knew I’d like this regardless.
An attempt at summarising
The story follows Galaxy ‘Alex’ Stern and her introduction to Lethe, one of 8 prestigious ‘tombs’/ secret magical societies at Yale. The narrative switches between Alex’s POV in the present and Darlington’s POV in the past. In the present with Alex we know something disastrous has happened to Darlington, while she tries to carry on her duties as Lethe, monitoring the other societies, keeping them in check and warding their rituals against other supernatural forces. The flashbacks to the past follow Darlington meeting Alex for the first time and introducing her to their duties, while he tries to unravel her mysterious past. Alex can see the Greys (ghosts), when everyone else can’t without magical intervention. When she’s recruited into the society, Alex has just survived a tragedy, where she was discovered overdosed on fentanyl, next her friends dead body, with the eviscerated corpses of her boyfriend and local drug dealer in the room next door. Something is wrong with the magic in the town connected to Yale, a girl is murdered and Alex can’t help but suspect it’s all related to Darlington’s disappearance.
As usual for a Leigh Bardugo book the characters in this are so rich, as is the magic and the world building of these elitist societies that you don’t have to stretch your imagination too much to believe could be real, especially once you know the author’s back story of belonging to a Yale secret society herself. You really don’t get to the bottom of everything that happened until right at the end of the book but the build up and Alex’s investigation creates great tension, leading you to want to keep reading to find out what happened.
The next book in the series is coming out soon and you can bent I’ll be buying it!
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