Things I didn’t like about Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir:
This late in the equinox no light would make it here for months
Since it’s a speculative fiction book, one can’t be certain if this sentence intentionally redefines an equinox, which is a point in time, as an extended period of time like a season. The only other use of the word:
blotting out the ever-fainter light of the equinox
sheds no more light on the mystery.
Behind her stood the Lady of the Ninth House, watching her with no satisfaction.
The Lady seems actually to be fairly satisfied, so I wonder if this was intended to be the phrase, ‘no little satisfaction’?
boring slats into the bottom of the trunk
The slats I’ve met have all been objects: long, flat, and skinny, like vertical blinds, or parts of a wall. I don’t know how to read ‘boring slats’. It seems to want to be ‘boring slat-shaped holes’, but it doesn’t say that, and you would only need one slat-shaped hole for a sword.
… Gideon had known that the fight … was hers to lose.
I’ve only ever heard the construction X’s to lose in the idiomatic sense of, X will win unless they make a mistake. The outcome, the context, and later references indicate the opposite meaning. The idiom doesn’t seem to apply here, so ‘hers to lose’ parses equivalently to ‘hers to eat’ or ‘hers to take’: she is going to lose.
“Griddle,” said Harrow, “I have not puppeted my own parents around for five years and learned nothing.”
But Harrowhawk is 17, and she preserved her dead parents at age 10.
I think that’s a pretty exhaustive list of things I didn’t like, so I’ll stop here for now. Future lists I may create about this book include:
She heard Colum’s “Means yes, probably,” but not the murmured reply.
“Do you want,” Gideon whispered huskily, “my hanky.”
“I want to watch you die.”