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. 

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). 

Show Notes

For fans of Ninth House

Zan Recommends

Chelsee Recommends

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: 

You can Zan on Instagram/Twitter @Zanopticon and at her website, zanromanoff.com.

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