Leigh Bardugo Has Us (Literally) Breaking Into Hell in ‘Hell Bent’

Get your salt, books, scrolls, (and maybe a skull) ready, because the Ivy League’s are going straight to Hell in ‘Hell Bent’ by Leigh Bardugo.

Adult Fiction Book Culture Fantasy Female Authors Recommendations

Trip to Hell, anyone? Leigh Bardugo takes you straight there in her latest novel Hell Bent. Literally! It’s not every day where you attend a prestigious university that not only has secret societies, but also mansions decorated with ivy, strange statues, dark magic, the occult, rituals, and supernatural forces. Oh, and did I mention murder? However, as it turns out, Yale University consists of all of these things– at least in Bardugo’s novel. Inspired by Bardugo’s time attending Yale, Ninth House is an adult paranormal fantasy novel, which imagines the university as a host for various secret societies. It also consists of magic practiced by students and faculty alike through many generations!

Interested in knowing more about her new paranormal fantasy novel Hell Bent? Keep reading!

Putting the “Ninth” in the “House”

A black background with a black snake moving over and through few letters of "NINTH HOUSE" and "LEIGH BARDUGO".

Ninth House follows Yale University freshman Galaxy “Alex” Stern. She is a former Los Angeles resident given a second chance on her hospital bed to attend Yale University on a full ride. Having the ability to see the dead, she is drawn into the world of Lethe, which is the ninth house (or secret society) that watches over the rest of the eight houses, ensuring that their blood magic, divination, and other wild stuff doesn’t go too far.

Straight to Hell in Hell Bent

The book cover of Leigh Bardugo's 'Hell bent', which depicts a white rabbit laying down sideways facing the right, while also eying the viewer. The letters, "HELLBENT" and "LEIGH BARDUGO" overlap with the rabbit's arms, feet, and head.

Now without spoiling anything major, Ninth House does end on a cliffhanger, which is what Hell Bent builds off of. According to the synopsis of the sequel, Galaxy “Alex” Stern faces her greatest challenge yet– breaking into Hell in order to rescue a fellow senior of Yale University. However, that isn’t the only thing that she has to deal with. Faculty members are dying off left and right. Something sinister is in the works, but what could it be?

Hell Bent brings readers back into the weird dark world of Yale University, where those in power utilize magic and occult methods in order to make changes as they see fit. I should add this doesn’t always have good intentions. With a newfound threat, more occult occurrences, and more spells and rituals, Hellbent brings more than a hell of a dangerously good time.

And the best part? The book came out January 10, 2023!

If you’re in the mood for something that screams dark academia, invade your nearby Barnes & Nobles to get both Ninth House and Hell Bent. You won’t regret adding these to your TBR. I promise.

For more things spooky and mysterious, click here!