How can I put into words the masterpiece that was Ninth House?

I KNOW this book will not be for everyone. It is dark, gory, and full of the macabre. There’s violence, flashbacks to drug use & physical abuse, and there are scenes of sexual violence. However, it was just perfect, so so perfect, for this Halloween season. This was my first book by Leigh Bardugo, and I cannot WAIT to get to the Grishaverse books; she’s a phenomenal storyteller and so, so good at world building.

Imagine a world where Yale’s eight ancient secret societies we hear many famous politicians belong to — George W. Bush in Skull & Bones, for example — are actually groups dabbling in magical arts and the occult. Alex has been recruited to Yale as a member of Lethe House, which is the group that keeps the occult activity on campus in check. Alex is a freshman, and while she’d normally not be Yale material in terms of academics, she is chosen because she has been able to see ghosts since she was young.

Alex has been through a lot in her short life, and she brings to Yale and Lethe a completely new vibe. She is strong, she is cunning, and she is fierce. Darlington serves as her mentor in Lethe, and she has Dawes as a friend in Lethe as well. All of the characters we met at Yale are well thought-out and fun additions to the story.

This novel ends up being a college coming-of-age story, wrapped in a murder mystery, wrapped in a realistic world with fantastical elements. It was so, so well done. I cannot wait for the next book in this series (which I heard could be a five-book series!). This was absolutely a 5 star read for me. If you’ve read it, what did you think?

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