The instant SUNDAY TIMES and NEW YORK TIMES bestseller, and Goodreads Choice Award winner, that Stephen King calls 'Impossible to put down'
The mesmerising adult debut from Leigh Bardugo. A tale of power, privilege, dark magic and murder set among the Ivy League elite.
Alex Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale's freshman class. A dropout and the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved crime - the last thing she wants is to cause trouble. Not when Yale was supposed to be her fresh start. But a free ride to one of the world's most prestigious universities was bound to come with a catch.
Alex has been tasked with monitoring the mysterious activities of Yale's secret societies - societies that have yielded some of the most famous and influential people in the world. Now there's a dead girl on campus and Alex seems to be the only person who won't accept the neat answer the police and campus administration have come up with for her murder.
Because Alex knows the secret societies are far more sinister and extraordinary than anyone ever imagined.
They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living . . .
'Ninth House is the best fantasy novel I've read in years, because it's about real people. Bardugo's imaginative reach is brilliant, and this story, full of shocks and twists, is impossible to put down' Stephen King
'Ninth House is one of the best fantasy novels I've read in years. This book is brilliant, funny, raw and utterly magnificent - it's a portal to a world you'll never want to leave' Lev Grossman, bestselling author of The Magicians trilogy
'Ninth House rocked my world. I could not get enough of Alex Stern, a heroine for the ages. With a bruised heart and bleeding knuckles, she risks death and damnation - again and again - for the people she cares about. I was cheering her on the whole way: from the first brilliant sentence of this book to the last' Joe Hill, bestselling author of N0S4A2
Bardugo's excellent first fantasy novel for adults (following her highly regarded Six of Crows and Shadow and Bone YA series) introduces an antihero who is just the right person to take on rising dangers in an elitist society. Galaxy "Alex" Stern's early life was wrecked by her unusual ability to see "Grays" earthbound ghosts but that same ability gains her admission into one of the magic-based houses at Yale. As she struggles to adjust to college life, she's forced to confront evil powers swirling under the thin veneers of tradition and ritual. When a young woman is killed, Alex becomes determined to find the murderer, even if it means dodging attempts on her life and striking eldritch bargains. Alex is the story's gritty, rock-solid heart. While other characters refuse to admit what's happening, too insulated by their own privilege or distracted by banal needs such as funding, Bardugo gives Alex a thoroughly engaging mix of rough edge, courage, and cynicism, all of which are required to get things done. Much of the book's white-knuckled tension comes from the increasingly horrific flashbacks revealing Alex's past, which is still very present in her mind. Fantasy readers, particularly those who love ghosts, will hungrily devour this novel.