Cover Image: Gallant

Gallant

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Such a good read. Spooky and atmospheric. I loved the characters and the family history, and the way everyone came together. Everything about the story was so interesting and the journals/drawings really added to the plot. Very well done.
Was this review helpful?
This has been the first book by this author that I did not enjoy. Generally love everything else by this author.
Was this review helpful?
As I expected, the writing is full of description and color.  Schwab makes her settings come to life.. This book reminds me of The Secret Garden, but traveling over the wall is not always a good thing. It is a haunting, well written, rich book.  The protagonist grows up in a school for girls.  She is invited to come home through a letter, but when she arrives, no one expected her.  She knows Gallant, her home, is hiding something.  We follow her journey to unlock the secrets.  Maybe sometimes locked doors are best left locked..  maybe not.
Was this review helpful?
V.E. Schwab is a masterful storyteller. I love this teaser and cannot wait to put this into students' hands. Wonderful YA fantasy set up, also, beautiful illustrations.
Was this review helpful?
A very spooky and atmospheric, almost gothic tragedy, with very spooky and atmospheric accompanying illustrations. I only wish it was a little less tragic!
Was this review helpful?
This latest offering from V. E. Schwab does not disappoint. Dark, shadowy, and Gothic, the book weaves a web of intrigue that keeps the reader turning the page. Olivia Prior is a heroine to root for, her character strong and relatable. The book discusses the concepts of family, belonging, and the complex circle of life and death. It's slow burn suspense that makes the reader want to venture just a little further into the dark.
Was this review helpful?
Gallant was like a love letter to Shirley Jackson. It reminded me somewhat of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but with more sound and color. Schwab’s books are always so descriptive; you never have any trouble seeing the story unfold in your mind. And I’ve always loved her dedication to building strong female characters.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to love this book. There may be an argument to be made that I am not the target audience for this novel, and so maybe it was always going to fall short because of that, but there are so many YA and middle grade novels that I do truly love so it may be the story itself.
Schwab's writing is, as always, a delight to read. Her turn of phrase makes even the darkest things feel alluring and knows how to spin melancholy things into something rich and almost tantalizing. But the plot feels underdeveloped leaving a lot of questions and an ending that kind of makes you wonder what was the point of the whole thing.
SPOILERS:




Who built the houses the Priors and Death each live in? Is there an entire reverse world besides the alternate house, like the upside down? Why is the seam between shadow and light only an issue at this particular juncture of land? If Death lives behind this gate in the countryside, then what is death in the greater world? Not to get too technical about aspects of a fairytale, but how did an undead being impregnate a woman? I shouldn't be hung up on shadow sperm but I am! And I might have been able to set all of that aside if it didn't feel like it was a story about the futility of fighting death which feels grim for a book at the young end of the YA spectrum- because this does read more like middle grade than YA.
Was this review helpful?
Gallant is one of Schwab's best works yet. Her writing is immersive as always and she painted a vivid picture of Gallant and its secrets. The premise immediately draws the reader in and kept me intrigued as the story went on and I found out more about Olivia's family and her past.  I loved Olivia Prior as the main character and I think Schwab did a great job of exploring her non-verbal communication skills. I really enjoyed the mixed media elements of this book and I thought the art was a great addition to the story. I also loved how open to interpretation the art was and that each time the images repeated throughout the story I would notice something new. This book has a very spooky vibe and it is something I would recommend to my students around Fall.
Was this review helpful?
Victoria Schwab has done it again with a haunting tale of ghouls, death, and at times most terrifying of all, family. When Olivia is rescued from an orphanage by her long-lost, mansion-dwelling family, not all is quite what it seems. The house, she comes to find, is haunted in more ways than one, but she will do anything to preserve the first home she could ever remember. Olivia's strength in the face of terror goes to show how intrinsic to human nature it is to wish to be loved and to have a cause worth fighting for. It's a terrific read for anyone who wants something frightening without being kept up at night or someone who wants to read about a strange land where family is more important than anything else: including life itself.
Was this review helpful?
A book about life, death, family and what makes a house a home and I was hooked from page 1. There are two Gallants, neither of which Olivia knows anything about until a mysterious letter arrives at the orphanage where she has lived her who life. Olivia is never speaks the whole book but her voice, her determination and her will speak loudly enough that even Death hears her. Equal parts ghost story, fantasy and heartwarming tale, Victoria Schwab has done it again with her engrossing settings and fantastic characters. Read this book and spend time in her world!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of Gallant. 

"You will be safe as long as you stay away from Gallant."

One line, one warning, in her mother's journal, which means, of course, Olivia Prior, outcast orphan, heads to Gallant at her first opportunity, Who can blame her? Left on the steps of Merilance as a toddler, she has one thing from her past- her mother's journal, full of mysterious words and drawings. When a letter arrives from an unknown uncle, beckoning her home, she has no choice but to go. 

Gallant. In which we meet her cousin Matthew, tormented by dreams, Hannah and Edgar, caretakers of the home, and we slowly learn the history of the Priors and Gallant, the curse that binds them. 

I love when authors create a place that is a character in itself, and Gallant certainly is that. Full of ghosts and oddities, locked up at dark, the spooky atmosphere that Schwab creates is wonderful. 

I absolutely love Victoria Schwab and will happily devour any of her fabulous creations, and while I enjoyed Gallant, I felt like the last fourth of the book was maybe slightly rushed? I wanted more . . . something. I felt the ending was 100% perfect, I just wish we'd gotten a bit more in the moments before that.
Was this review helpful?
Schwab is a phenomenal storyteller.  In my humble list of favorites, her writing and storytelling ranks up there with Rothfuss, Okorafor, and Becky Chambers for me.  I don't always love the stories she tells (sorry, I'm one of those that was very "meh" on Addie LaRue) but she could tell me the story of how she bought spinach at the grocery store last week and I'd stick through to the end just for the descriptions.

Gallant was different.  It didn't waft through centuries exploring personal connection and sacrifice.  It stared down the deepest parts of youthful vehemence and the need to belong and challenged you to confront yourself.  The story drags you along into battle to understand what it means to form a family and fight for it.

It is the tale of Oliva, whose father died before she was born and her mother left her at a home for independent girls as a young child.  She has no voice, sees a few ghouls, and thoroughly hates where she has ended up.  She finally is given a chance at a real home when a long-lost uncle writes and invites her home.  

This book is a gutsy, emotional ride through self-discovery when all you have fought for is hanging in the balance.  If you are looking for the teenage child of Coraline meets Shades of Magic.... this will not disappoint.  If you are seeking another taste of the storytelling that only somewhat saved Addie LaRue, this is for you.
Was this review helpful?
Now I know everyone seems to love this book, and yes, the writer does have a wonderful way with words, but in a way that's part of my problem with the story.  Here's this rich, dark fantasy (that I would never in a million years let a child read, they'd be traumatized for life, it's that darkly atmospheric and cruel), that seems to have a story to tell, but then... doesn't.  It takes you through pain and torment to... nowhere.  Is it a story about finding a family of sorts and a home?  Um, not really.  
Spoilers - 
Olivia simply takes the place of her cousin, and everything is exactly as it was before at Gallant.  Olivia may have a place to call home, but she has a far worse tormentor than she had before.  Is this progress?  
Reminds me  of the dreary pointlessness of Philip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass.  I was very disappointed with both.
Was this review helpful?
Another hit from V. E. Schwab! The writing is lush and beautiful, and exactly what I wanted for an October read. Thank you for the early copy!
Was this review helpful?
Crimson Peak meets The Secret Garden in this ghoulish tale of traveling over the garden wall.

I will read anything and everything that Schwab throws my way. She has a magical way of telling a story that automatically grabs you in its clutches and never let's go. There is also a special place in my heart for books that have things that go bump in the night or in this case ghosts that sit on your bed as you sleep. I've been there, seen that, and I don't recommend it.

This one intrigued me from the start. We meet Olivia who resides at an all girls school, she can't speak with words but can see ghouls hiding throughout. Then a mysterious letter arrives from a long-lost relative who has been searching franticly for her and invites her to move into his estate. Once she moves into the estate, things get weirder from there. Behind every door is a secret and Olivia is determined to find the answers to long ago questions.

I really enjoyed this. The pacing was great and made for a quick unputdownable read, the cast of characters, ghouls, and Death were all amazing, each one held their own as the story progressed, the haunted estate was eerily tempting, and the mystery was the glue that held this all together. It was all so fantastic but there was just something missing that her other books offered. I'm just not sure what was the missing link.

The one main thing that held me back was the quickly wrapped up ending. It was a typical ending to a haunted/deathly tale. I was expecting something big and shocking but we got something that has been done many times before and that was disappointing. It did take a bit away from the story. I'm not in any way saying that I disliked this because I didn't. I loved it, I just wish the ending had a little more oomph.

Gallant was a hauntingly brilliant read. Fans of The Secret Garden, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Books of Elsewhere will love this eerie story. The writing is beautiful and the story was wonderful. Schwab creates the perfect atmosphere for this beautiful gothic tale. It's one that I know I'll read over and over again and fall in love with each time.
Was this review helpful?
Gallant is one of my most anticipated titles of 2022. I am a huge fan of just about anything Victoria. Schwab does so it is no surprise that I loved this creepy, original story. I had seen it compared to a terrifying version of The Secret Garden and that feels accurate. No one is better at quietly scary stories than Schwab is!
Was this review helpful?
V.E. Schwab is a masterful storyteller. She builds detailed worlds and creates complex characters. One of my favorite things about reading her work is how real things feel to me. I was only slightly let down by Gallant. Pitched as a ‘Secret Garden meets Crimson Peak’ type of story, it seemed right up my alley, but I felt it was lacking something. The atmosphere Schwab creates is on point, but I found myself not really able to connect with Olivia, and while I understood what drove her as a character, she still felt a little hollow. The most interesting part of this book was the how the illustrations tied in. The images are repetitive,  but with each new bit of information you learn, the images change meaning and add to the development of the story. Definitely an interesting idea! Overall it was an entertaining read, but it’s not going to be one of my Schwab rereads.
Was this review helpful?
5 stars!  Schwab is perfection and I will continue to read everything she writes!  Her world building and character development is always fantastic.
Was this review helpful?
Olivia Prior, orphan, is treated differently because she cannot speak. Bullied in the past by the other orphans at Merilance School for Girls and with little prospects once she is released into the world, Olivia reads her mother's journal over and over again hoping for a miracle. Of course others would send her off the a psychiatric ward if they knew she could see shades.

Her miracle does come as a letter from living relatives. Her mother's journal always said to stay away from Gallant but what choice does she have otherwise? How bad could it be? As it turns out, bad in a different way from Merilance but there is also good. She learns more about her family, more about her mother, her father, and Gallant and why she sees shades. 

If I'd read this when I was 10-14 I would have loved it. Mysteries abound, spooky, a door that won't open, a mirrored place, and a tough protagonist make this a compelling read.
Was this review helpful?