Zan Romanoff and I are talking about Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo!
About Ninth House
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. By age twenty, in fact, 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 elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?
Ninth House imagines that each of Yale’s Ancient Eight societies practices a different form of magic; a shadowy ninth house, Lethe, keeps watch over them. The book’s heroine is Galaxy Stern, better known as Alex, a Los Angeles native whose natural ability to see the ghosts these societies’ magic attracts makes her an invaluable asset for Lethe.
A few things we discuss in the episode:
- How the magic of Ninth House differs from Harry Potter and many of the other magic school books we’re used to;
- Why it feels like this book was written especially for us;
- Not wanting to read about happy people when you’re struggling;
- The grand tradition of children of the west running away to the east to become “real” people;
- What violence we are and aren’t comfortable with, and what that might say about us;
- Darlington is an addict and we love him.
A note on the links throughout this page: Casually Obsessed is an affiliate with Bookshop.org, an awesome online shop that supports local bookstores (instead of Jeff Bezos). If you use one of my affiliate links and buy a book from Bookshop, I’ll make a small commission (at no extra cost to you).
For fans of Ninth House
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman
- There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
- Graceling by Kristin Cashore
- Veronica Mars on Hulu (season 1, specifically)
- The Magicians on Syfy
- The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
- Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
- Sadie by Courtney Summers
To easily find the books mentioned in this episode, you can visit the Bookshop collection right here. It’s a special roundup of our recommended reads and other books mentioned in the episode.
Also mentioned in this episode:
- “Leigh Bardugo Wants ‘Ninth House’ To “F*ck You Up A Little” – Zan’s Interview with Leigh Bardugo
- The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
- Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth
- House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas