Find a gateway to the underworld. Steal a soul out of hell. A simple plan, except people who make this particular journey rarely come back. But Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of purgatory—even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale. Wealth. Power. Murder. Magic. Alex Stern is back and the Ivy League is going straight to hell.
Readers will be wowed.Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Bardugo’s imaginative reach is brilliant.Stephen King
Need a Ninth House refresher before you read Hell Bent?
Alex “Galaxy” Stern is a high school dropout, a low-level drug dealer, and the sole survivor of a horrific multiple homicide. At her hospital bed, she is offered a chance to attend Yale on a full scholarship because of her unique ability to see ghosts, called Grays. Of course this is no ordinary scholarship, and there are most definitely strings attached: in return for a ginned-up transcript and a free ride to one of the most prestigious colleges in the world, Alex will have to become a deputy of Lethe House, the organization charged with overseeing Yale’s magical secret societies.
The other players
Daniel Arlington V aka “Darlington” Alex’s mentor at Lethe, he is smart, sophisticated, and a bit of a snob. Okay, more than a bit. He is obsessed with magic and the world beyond the Veil and he resents Alex’s natural gifts. Oh, and at the end of last semester? He vanished without a trace.
Pamela Dawes A grad student forever at work on her dissertation, Dawes is a champion researcher, a fabulous cook, and the person who keeps Lethe running smoothly. Nervous and awkward, she struggles to connect with the people around her.
Detective Abel Turner An ambitious detective in the New Haven PD, Turner acts as liaison between Lethe and the police, but he isn’t happy about it. He took the job for some extra cash but he doesn’t believe in magic and he has no interest in the weird goings on at the societies—so long as they don’t bleed into his city.
Dean Elliot Sandow Dean of Yale College and Lethe faculty liaison, the dean is a middle-aged professor determined to secure Lethe’s funding for another year. That means keeping Alex in line and making sure no one finds out that Darlington has gone missing.
The Bridegroom A local urban legend, this New Haven ghost is rumored to have killed his fiancé before taking his own life.
Mercy Zhao One of Alex’s roommates, a brilliant student who loves fashion and literature and who doesn’t want to repeat her nerdy high school ways. Like most people, she’s completely unaware of the occult goings on at Yale, but she knows Alex is struggling academically.
Professor Marguerite Belbalm Unaffiliated with Lethe, Professor Belbalm is head of Alex’s residential college and her academic advisor. Effortlessly chic and elegant, she sees potential in Alex and offers her a plush summer job if she can keep her grades up.
Ninth House revolves around three mysteries . . .
- Who killed local drug dealer Tara Hutchins?
- Where is Darlington?
- How did Alex Stern survive the bloody massacre that left her friends dead?
A mesmerizing tale of power, privilege, and dark magic set among Yale’s secret societies.