Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo is a New Adult book about magic, ghosts, spoiled college kids at Yale, and of course…murder. Leigh Bardugo, Grishaverse queen, creator of Shadow and Bone (now on Netflix) brings us a whole new world to love in the Alex Stern novels.
I read Ninth House for the first time at the end of 2019, it was by far my favorite read of 2019 and I’ve been dying to re-read it ever since. This week I picked up the audiobook to enjoy while out walking and it did not disappoint.
This post contains affiliate links to products or services I think are great! If you click through and make a purchase I make a small commission at no cost to you, thank you!
Leigh Bardugo has a whole catalogue of young adult novels. Ninth House is the first adult fantasy novel in her lineup and it is as magical as it is powerful.
What is Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo about?
Ninth House is set in a slightly alternate version of Yale, the university and New Haven itself runs on a unique kind of magic that feeds the secret societies. The Houses of the Veil need the power that flows under New Haven and Yale to power their rituals.
The Houses can do everything from make movie stars to rocket mediocre hits to the top of charts. Their powerful alumni range from positions at the CIA to movie stars and presidents.
The Ninth House, Lethe, is designed (in theory) to keep the houses in line and make sure that the magic and the entitled children playing with it don’t hurt anyone.
Ninth House follows the delegates of Lethe, including our reluctant new Dante, Alex Stern. She’s as fierce as she is witty and she has a dark past to fuel her fire. While she may not seem like she belongs at Yale she’s exactly what everyone around her needs…even if she can’t see that for herself yet.
By all accounts Alex Stern has thrown away her life, she’s 20 years old and has spent the last 5 years of her life dabbling in drugs and hanging out with wanna be drug dealers who keep dangerous company. When she finds herself the sole survivor of a truly disturbing multiple homicide Lethe offers her a way out, a chance at a new life…but will it be any safer than the world she’s running from?
What did you love about this book?
I love Galaxy Fucking Stern. She’s amazing. I want to be her when I grow up or be best friends with her. I can’t decide. Daniel Arlington (Darlington) is another standout character for me. This book is full of twists and turns and a super cool magic system.
All that to say that there is a lot to love about Ninth House. Something I noticed both times through this book was the feeling of nostalgia. Ninth House transports me back to my college days. It’s got this great sense of community and fun, freedom and found families that just takes me back!
I really loved the relationships in this book. They’re so real and relatable, seeing Alex grow into her role and into these new friendships is excellent.
What did you not love about Ninth House?
If I have to choose something to dislike then I must whine about waiting so long for more in this world.
This is part of series but Leigh Bardugo has been a busy busy bee so we’re still waiting for more on Alex and Darlington and the hell beasts that need vanquishing.
Will you read more in this series?
I would walk the hot coals to get to book #2 in the Alex Stern series. I can’t wait for more in this world and I’ll likely re read this one again before book 2 drops.
Truly can’t wait for more from these characters and from Leigh! There are rumblings about Ninth House being optioned for TV as well and after seeing Shadow and Bone on Netflix I have to say I am here for itttt.
Overall opinions of this book:
5/5 Stars on the physical book as well as the audiobook version!
I can’t believe I didn’t review this the first time I read it! I love Leigh Bardugo, this was actually the first book of hers that I discovered. After that I fell into the Grishaverse and have never wanted to find my way out again!
Alex is such an interesting and unique protagonist. She’s tiny and fierce, pessimistic and loyal, she’s everything you want in a badass who’s main job is keeping a bunch of over privileged Yale students, muddling about with magic, in line.
I forgot how many twists and turns this storyline takes. I’m crossing everything buy my eyes in hopes that we’re getting the next installment in this series soon. I need more Darlington in my life. As usual, Leigh does a great job of writing characters who are lovable villains.
It’s easy to love the good guys, it’s less easy to love characters who willingly drag ghosts into themselves in order to avenge their friends and save their own lives. Ugh. Just give us more already…I know you gave us Shadow and Bone on Netflix but enough is never enough!
I love how the magic system is set up in this world. It’s makes me heartsick for my college days. The whole book just has that college days feeling (yes, I know it’s set at Yale so that makes sense) but it’s more than just the setting, I swear.
Another thing to love about Ninth House is the fact that we’re looking at the upper end of NA versus YA. If you are a Leigh Bardugo fan but want something a little more “grown up” for whatever reason, this is the one! When I grow up I want to be Oculus…because being Centurion would require a physical fitness test and I’m a grown ass woman who no longer runs timed miles 🙂
I listened to the audio book this time around and it was great! If you prefer audio books this one is done really well and is worth checking out!
Where can I buy this book for myself?
You can get copies of Ninth House wherever books are sold. Below you’ll find links to the hardcover, paperback, and ebook version! Leigh also advertises from time to time on her socials about signed copies and local indie bookstores so if you want signed copies that would be a great option!Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans
What else has this author written?
You can see all of the amazing stuff that Leigh Bardugo has written here on her author page!
I am especially fond of the Six of Crows Duology and the King of Scars Duology. Shadow and Bone is a great trilogy but the characters in SoC and KoS are just to die for!
They’re all worth checking out in their own ways and the companion materials for the Grishaverse are lovely and so well done. The Lives of Saints and Language of Thorns are beautiful editions!
Looking for more reviews to check out?
Check out these other book reviews and bookish posts. I think you’ll love them! Make sure to let me know in the comments what kinds of books you like to read and what you’d like to see more of.
I’d love to hear about your favorite books, I’m always adding to my TBR (to be read) pile so leave those suggestions below!
- The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout | Book Review
- Boyfriend Material By Alexis Hall | Book Review
- Red, White & Royal Blue By Casey McQuiston | Book Review
- The Infinity Courts By Akemi Dawn Bowman | Book Review
- Bridge Of Souls By Victoria Schwab | Book Review
- A Pho Love Story by Loan Le | Book Review
- Rule of Wolves Review
- A Universe of Wishes | A We Need Diverse Books Anthology
- Read More Without Making Major Changes!
- Turtles All The Way Down | John Green
- Meg & Jo By Virginia Kantra