Originally part of the third and final novel in the series, Alecto the Ninth, Nona was expanded to a novel in its own right after Tamsyn Muir found the story growing more than she’d planned – and seeing the results, it’s clear she did the right thing. Readers already familiar with the series will be thrilled, while new readers will find themselves drawn into a world of necromancy, mystery, and characters to love – or love to hate.
This is a series where the reader does need to have read through the previous books to fully understand what’s taking place, because the overall story has been built so beautifully that to miss out on the context of the early books would be a true shame. With that said, though, each novel has been entirely different, and Muir wastes no time in establishing Nona’s unique voice.
While the action in Nona moves the story along at a good pace, it feels like a quieter book than the murder mystery of Gideon, or the intensity of Harrow. The character of Nona is the definition of innocence, but is never tipped over into naivete. The world from her perspective at first seems like a simpler place, until the author uses her extraordinary abilities to imply much more than she says outright; the reader is allowed to make connections much sooner than Nona.
There’s a significant portion of this series that involves reading between the lines, and though this book is certainly easier to follow than the last, readers do need to be ready to take an active part in piecing together the story. But importantly, it’s such a fun book, and Nona really is an incredibly appealing character, one I found it very easy to connect to and root for.
Nona the Ninth is an impressive entry in a bold, powerful series, a series that’s proving a playground for Tamsyn Muir’s remarkable imagination. It’s made big waves, and this novel keeps the momentum going while adding a whole new dimension to an already compelling story. I’m more interested than ever to see where Muir will take us, but regardless of the destination I’m loving the journey to get there.