First Impressions of Harrow The Ninth

Harrowhark

Harrow the Ninth is the second book in The Locked Tomb Series. Yes, it used to be The Locked Tomb Trilogy, but now there is going to be more. So, that’s good news! I’m a fan of Gideon the Ninth and have been excited to read Harrow the Ninth. 

I still am. I’m probably going to give Harrow the Ninth five stars.

However, I have to admit that having chapters seemingly alternate between third and second person narration was something I wasn’t expecting. I’d gone in blind. No reviews. No samples. I had no idea. My only expectation was more of that Gideon the Ninth goodness. Which is there, just in second person. Alternatingly.

It isn’t that the perspectives – and points in time – alternate between chapters, it’s that second person exists at all. Especially after it did not exist in Gideon the Ninth. My brain was fighting the idea that I was taking on the role of Harrowhark. Who is a character that I’d thoroughly witnessed in the third person. My brain was fighting the idea that I was the narrator witnessing Harrow’s Lyctorial challenges.

For the first fifty pages, there was a sense of relief when I turn to a third person chapter. I knew simple reading bliss would follow. When I hit a new chapter I’d do a quick scan of the page for the use of the word “you.” If I saw it outside of quotes my heart would sink just little. Seriously, just a little. My brain would whir up and start trying to figure out if I’m Harrow or the narrator. 

Eventually, I just relaxed.

Second person narration was a challenge I had to overcome. I have my spoiler free suspicions as to why there is second person narration. I also acknowledge that Tamsyn Muir is smarter than me. Even if I’m wrong as to why, I’m sure Muir has very good reasons for writing parts of Harrow the Ninth in second person.