5 Books Like Gideon The Ninth (By Tamsyn Muir)

Gideon The Ninth is a science fiction novel written by Tamsyn Muir that was released in 2019.

Books Like Gideon The Ninth (By Tamsyn Muir)

It is the first in a trilogy known as The Locked Tomb Trilogy, and acts as a breakout publication for the author, binding together unique worldbuilding, fast-paced action, and captivating characters.

The novel follows the character of Gideon Nav, a young woman who has grown up in the Ninth House, and who is tasked to compete in a violent and deadly tournament known as The Necromancer’s Game.

The story sees Gideon navigating through a series of secrets, dangers, and thrilling events to survive and serve her Emperor. Gideon The Ninth is a genre-bending mixture of epic fantasy and classic science fiction.

If you were captivated by Gideon The Ninth, check out these other cutting-edge fantasy and sci-fi books including All Systems Red, A Memory Called Empire, Sabriel, The Priory Of The Orange Tree, and The Unbroken.

Themes In Gideon The Ninth

Themes In Gideon The Ninth


One of the main themes of Gideon The Ninth is the idea of identity and what this means for the main characters of Gideon and Harrow.

Gideon is brought up in the dark and gloomy Ninth House and has developed a tough exterior to protect herself from her harsh environment.

However, as the novel progresses, she is forced to come to terms with her own identity and who she is in a dark, twisted world.


As necromancy is the main magic system in the book—which revolves around reanimating corpses—death becomes a central theme.

The society in the book views death as both a natural part of life that is openly discussed, but also an immense source of power.

Death is something that all characters have to contend with and interact with throughout the narrative.


Gideon The Ninth is set in an empire, one that is obsessed with power and harnessing necromancy. The necromancers in Ninth House all hold impressive power, using it to control those around them.

As Harrow and Gideon navigate the Necromancer’s Game, they must confront the power they wield and interact with the consequences of abusing it.


A big theme of the novel is the comradery/romance between Gideon and Harrow. Through their companionship, the two characters grow and are able to learn to work together to get through the Necromancer’s Game.

This is an important plot point, as before this point in time Gideon has been a self-reliant character due to her upbringing.

5 Books Like Gideon The Ninth

All Systems Red By Martha Wells

All Systems Red (Kindle Single): The Murderbot Diaries

All Systems Red is the first novella in a cutting-edge science fiction series titled ‘The Murderbot Diaries.

Written by Martha Wells, it is a story that follows the existence of a self-aware security robot who is called Murderbot.

The tale kicks off as Murderbot takes part in an expedition to a distant planet with a team of scientists.

As the story progresses, we find the characters discovering a dark plot, and Murderbot must use all of its pre-programmed skills to keep the others alive.

This is a great choice if you’re looking for another science fiction novel with a strange setting and characters.


  • This is a Hugo Award-winning novel.
  • Features a unique and intriguing main character.
  • Includes a fascinating plot revolving around a mystery on a distant planet.


  • A Novella, which means it’s quite short. Quality over quantity, for this one.

Themes Similar To Gideon The Ninth: Identity, Death, Technology, and Power.

A Memory Called Empire By Arkady Martine

A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan, 1)

For my second pick, we have another Hugo Award-winning novel that is reminiscent of the more epic qualities that you’ll find in Gideon The Ninth.

This story follows the character of Ambassador Mahit Dzmare as he arrives in the Teixcalaanli Empire to discover that her predecessor has died.

Soon enough, she begins to suspect that this death was not an accident. What unfolds is a thrilling space opera that binds a mysterious plot together with classical sci-fi world-building.

You should check this out if you love the worldbuilding of Gideon The Ninth.


  • Features a rich and lively science fiction universe.
  • Captivating characters with varying political motives.
  • Fast-paced despite its long word count.


  • Lacks some of the genre-bending originality you may have loved from Gideon The Ninth.

Themes Similar To Gideon The Ninth: Identity, Death, Power, Identity, Politics.

Sabriel By Garth Nix

Sabriel (Old Kingdom Book 1)

Next up I’ve included a fantasy story, as it echoes some of the fantasy elements that Tamsyn Muir has included in Gideon The Ninth.

Sabriel tells the story of Sabriel, who has lived outside of the Old Kingdom for her whole life, a place known for powerful magic and a rich, troubled history.

After her father and legendary mage Abhorsen goes missing, Sabriel is forced to cross over into the Old Kingdom to find him and finds two companions including Mogget (a malevolent spirit posing as a cat) and a young mage named Touchstone.

This is a classic adventure story with a unique magic system and some thrilling moments.


  • Central themes of identity, power, and responsibility are similar to Gideon.
  • A classic fantasy adventure story with unique worldbuilding.
  • Unique characters that will stick with you.


  • Sometimes reads like YA, which can put you off if you like the grittier tone of Gideon The Ninth.

Themes Similar To Gideon The Ninth: Identity, Self-discovery, Power, Magic, Mystery, and Comradery.

The Priory Of The Orange Tree By Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree (The Roots of Chaos)

The next book is another fantasy epic that has taken the reading world by storm.

The Priory Of The Orange Tree tells the story of a world in turmoil, following many different characters fighting to survive as forces of chaos rise from a deep slumber, preparing to throw the world into its own slumber.

If you enjoyed the rich, detailed world of Gideon and want something a little lighter and heavier on the epic fantasy, then this novel is a great choice for you.


  • Features a large cast of diverse characters.
  • A huge fantasy world that is just waiting for you to explore.


  • Includes no science fiction elements like Gideon.

Themes Similar To Gideon The Ninth: Power, Magic, Mystery, Identity, and Self-Discovery.

The Unbroken By C.L. Clark

The Unbroken (Magic of the Lost)

For the final pick on my list, I’ve chosen another book that focuses on political fantasy and powerful female characters.

The Unbroken takes place in a world dominated by an empire and follows the story of two characters—Touraine and Luca.

Touraine is a soldier, spirited away as a child and fiercely loyal to her comrades. When she is sent to quell a rebellion, she finds herself having to choose between blood ties and the military she has been raised under.

The second character is Luca, who is caught up in a treasonous plot to remove her uncle from the throne. What unfolds is a fascinating political fantasy with a tight plot and big stakes.


  • Features powerful female characters like Gideon The Ninth.
  • A thrilling political fantasy with lots of twists and turns.


  • Book 1 of a series, so you may need to get the second part to complete the story.
  • Features a fairly standard fantasy Empire setting, so don’t expect an excess of unique world-building.

Themes Similar To Gideon The Ninth: Power, War, Self Discovery, Empire, and Political Intrigue.

Final Thoughts

Trying to find a novel exactly like Gideon the Ninth is a tough task. With a unique setting and diverse characters, it feels like a unique diamond in the genres of fantasy and science fiction.

If you’re looking for something that follows the same kind of political intrigue as Gideon, I’d suggest checking out The Unbroken, The Priory Of The Orange Tree, or A Memory Called Empire.

If you’re looking for something that features fantastical characters and settings, check out Sabriel or All Systems Red.

I hope that this guide has given you some ideas for your next book or series. Modern fantasy and science fiction are beginning to blur, yielding new worlds that feel unique and interesting.

Gideon The Ninth is just one of these!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Gideon The Ninth An LGBTQ Book?

Gideon the Ninth is considered by many to feature queer characters, and this is one of the unique selling points of the novel.

Do You Need To Read Gideon The Ninth To Read Harrow The Ninth?

Harrow The Ninth is the second book in the series, and as a result, it’s generally recommended that you read Gideon before reading Harrow, as the book will have more of an impact.

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Anna Davis