Ninth House Wants You to Ask Some Questions

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. 

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Show Notes

For fans of Ninth House

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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: 

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