Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
First, I'd like to say that I enjoyed the letter that the author writes at the beginning when she talks about doors and how they serve multiple purposes, one of which is to explore other worlds. She mentions that in all her books, they all include doors in some manor.
This was such a unique book. Olivia lives in a home for girls. Her only company is the ghouls she seems to see in various places around her. The only thing she has left of her parents her a journal with a G on it. It includes entries that don't always make sense and pictures she can't really decipher. But she holds on tight to that journal in hopes that one day it will make sense. The only part of the journal that seems to make sense is the last entry that says,
"Olivia, Olivia, Olivia
the shadows are not real
the dreams can never hurt you
and you will be safe as long as you stay away from Gallant"
One day, Olivia receives a letter from her uncle asking her to come home to Gallant. While Olivia believes there is some reason her mother wrote that last entry, she also doesn't know why she shouldn't go to Gallant, especially when all she wants is a family and a place to call home.
Her arrival at Gallant is unexpected. While she comes with the note from her uncle, the people still left in the house are confused. Hannah and Edgar, caretakers of the house and family, bring her in and help her get settled. Her cousin, Matthew, is incredibly hostile and rude. He tells her the Priors are cursed and that she needs to leave.
Hannah and Edgar do not let Matthew bully Olivia into leaving. Olivia stays and as she begins to explore the house. She continues to see ghouls, most that look like family members who have died. She sees her mother's ghoul as well. One day, she goes to the wall that is past the garden and she sees a door. When she pushes through it, it is like she is seeing a duplicate of her own surroundings. There is the same garden and the same Gallant. The only difference is that there is no life or color to the place. It is as if death has taken over this other world.
After returning back to her world, Olivia becomes entangled in the mystery of what keeps the Priors from leaving Gallant, the significance of who her parents were, and the implications of what lies on the other side of the door. As each decision Olivia makes leads her to further revelations, she will have to choose between the family she had and the family she has.
Advertised as a Secret Garden meets Stardust, but with more spooks!
A lonely girl grows up far from home with only her mother's journal as a comfort. Friendless, she jumps at the chance to leave when a letter comes from her uncle inviting her to the home she didn't know she had. A mansion filled with secrets and a girl determined to figure it all out leads to horror. Will she gain a family or lose it all?
The world was small but fully formed. The characters were very real, and I quickly grew attached. The magic is intriguing. I'd love a sequel or a prequel on this. There's still so much I want to know, which is often my issue with standalone books.
I really love Victoria Schwab's books, so when I was granted the opportunity to read GALLANT early, I was incredibly excited. Victoria describes this as "CRIMSON PEAK X THE SECRET GARDEN", and I can't think of any comparisons that fit this story more perfectly. GALLANT holds the lush, gothic atmosphere of CRIMSON PEAK and the curious, creative nature of THE SECRET GARDEN.
I adored the main character, Olivia, with all of my heart. Strong and fierce, Olivia's voice captivated me completely. My heart ached for her. At such a young age, Olivia Prior faced so many trials and tribulations--but due to her stubborn resilience, stood tall through everything. I love her character growth as well, and how we followed her on truly such a life-changing arc. Olivia's journey is an odyssey of grumpy matrons, quiet ghouls, garden walls--and above all, her search to finally belong somewhere.
Victoria's ability to write such fantastic prose always blows me away. Her storytelling skills are vast, and really shone through during GALLANT. I highly recommend GALLANT to fans of THE SECRET GARDEN, gothic fiction, CRIMSON PEAK, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, and Victoria Schwab in general. She really outdid herself with this novel.
“Perhaps you are haunting me.
What a comforting thought.
Maybe it’s you in the darkness.
I swear I’ve seen it move.”
This was a lovely, haunting, lyrical novel about a girl half made of ash and bone, who cannot speak, who sees unraveling ghouls in the spaces around her. She is an orphan, one day called to a place called Gallant, where she sees a parallel world ruled by Death, and struggles to find her place in the world.
Somehow, this book reminded me of “Her Fearful Symmetry” by Audrey Niffeneggar in the lyrically haunting and melancholic way the main character sees the world. Loved the feeling; loved the imagery; and the plot was fascinating.
What a stunning book. victoria continues to show why she is as loved as she is. this will be huge for YA as it has the ability to be adapted
V.E. Schwab is such an outstanding writer!! Just like other writers I love, one of the many things I enjoyed about this book was the poetic writing style applied to the story. The magic in this world and almost gothic vibe of the story completely immersed me in the story. Not to mention, each one of the characters held a unique voice of their own.
I may be biased, because it is VE Schwab, who is my ultimate favorite author of all time. I could read her daily to do list and still be happy. So there is that.
This book did not disappoint. Her writing is exquisite. The story is super unique, as is everything she writes. I also really got attached to he characters in the story. The gothic vibe it gives is spectacular.
The only thing I found difficult is that the main character didn't speak. Once I got used to it, I actually enjoyed feeling like I knew her personally.
If you are looking for a great ghost story with gothic vibes, this is the one!
A dark enchanting Gothic tale reminiscent of early V.C. Andrews with a hint of magic.
Overall, I enjoyed this story.
Not necessarily a favorite of everything Schwab has written, but still a beautiful and poignant standalone. Definitely pick it up if you're already a fan.
Olivia Prior grew up at Merilance School for Girls, with only her mother's journal as a hint to her past. As the journal goes on, her mother's entries become less clear, but one message is clear: Olivia must stay away from Gallant if she wants to stay safe.
So naturally a letter from her long lost uncle invites her to come home to Gallant. The matrons at Merilance send Olivia on her way, happy to get rid of her. But she is alarmed at what greets her when she arrives at Gallant. Nobody was expecting her. Her cousin Matthew is adamant that she should leave. She soon learns about some of the secrets of Gallant as she works to unravel her past. This involves crossing a wall and discovering that there is another Gallant. This Gallant holds many of the secrets of previous Priors and leads Olivia to discover more about her father.
Olivia has two options: go to the other Gallant and join alongside the Master of the House or stay in her own world and protect it from him.
Gallant is yet another triumph by V.E. Schwab. The writing is detailed and atmospheric without being too flowery and convoluted. I fell into the story immediately and loved every bit of the experience.
For people who like surprises, the synopsis gives away most of the book. In this case, it's about the journey and not the destination. Readers who want to be surprised will be disappointed if they've read through the entire synopsis. But even though I had a good idea of what would happen, I still enjoyed every bit of it. I can only think of a handful of books I've been able to read in so few sittings recently, and many of the other contenders were novellas.
Gallant is perfect for somebody who wants to read a slower paced book that is more about introspection and finding a place to belong rather than something faster paced or action-packed.
I love all works by V.E. Schwab. Her writing is always so elegant and beautiful you can't help but love it. This story is not my favorite by her but I still really loved the atmosphere and the premise. The characters were likable as well and I loved the little illustrations.
Gallant by V.E. Schwab is a beautiful, goth book full of duality, family, and discovering where you belong. I was fully engaged and invested in this story and the characters. The book is exquisitely written with interesting characters and settings and descriptions, including a house that is a character in and of itself. I was rooting for the characters and eager to find out what would happen. I highly recommend this book!
Gallan by V.E. Schwab will be published on March 1, 2022.
Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for an eARC of this book.
Love this book! It was very different than V.E. Schwab's other books that I've read, but I was completely immersed in the story. The writing is beautiful and it's one that you will want to read in one sitting so you can find out how the story ends.
I am a fan of Schwab, no doubt. That said, she's a writer who does not always immediately grab my attention. Her writing is excellent - she knows how to turn a phrase and build a world. But her writing can be quiet, for lack of a better description. Gallant felt like a quiet story, in spite of a plot that focuses on shadow worlds and good and evil. Is a quiet story a bad thing? Not at all...but it just didn't pull me in as well as some of her other books.
It is a lovely gothic story. There are wonderful elements to it and great imagery. I think the disconnect is that this reads like middle grade fiction. It is marketed as YA but it feels geared for the very young due to its fairly simplistic story arc.
A worthwhile read, but one that feels very young. As long as you know that going in - enjoy!
Gallant was a beauty read with a haunting gothic vibe. Perfect for October evenings.
Abandoned at an orphanage when she was just a baby, the only thing Olivia Prior has ever had of her parents is an old journal from her mom. It's here that she feels close and loved. But it's also here where she can see her mother's descent into madness. When a long lost relative suddenly sends for her, Olivia finds herself at the house her mother grew up in - but it's also the house her mother warned her away from.
This book was interesting in the fact that the main character didn't speak. It's never really discussed how or why, it just is. So I found the reading experience to be a little different because you didn't get the normal camaraderie as you would with dialogue. Most of the book was just Olivia's internal thoughts. But because of this, I was able to feel more and really fall into the story.
OH MY OH MY! V E Schwab has done it yet again. A truly unique story blending gothic vibes with somehow almost, dare I say, coziness. It is lush and vivid and beautiful while also being incredibly eerie. Beautiful.
I am always on the look out for books I can recommend to some of my students that are more mature readers. This book is one I could see them loving. It has a strange house, with a locked door and a mysterious family history. Olivia does not speak and yet it was easy to feel a connection to her. V. E Schwab is one of those writers that sucks you into her world so far that it feels tangible. It's hard for a many horror books to feel real, but this one did.
V.E. Schwab gives readers a lush, spooky tale about a girl who doesn't know where she is from and how she finds her place in the world. Oliva lives at the Merilance School for Girls, and the only clue she has of her family is a journal belonging to her mother. It is full of pictures and writing that slowly unravels, with a warning to her to stay away from Gallant. One day she receives a letter from her Uncle inviting her back home to Gallant only to arrive to her cousin, Matthew, who had no idea of the invite, insisting that she must leave and that his uncle died the year before.
Olivia, wanting nothing more to stay and connect with her family, cannot understand his reaction, and begins to explore the house. We learn that Olivia can see "ghouls" or ghosts of people and she piece by piece discovers the history of her family, including a door in a garden that leads somewhere shadowy and spooky.
The writing was wonderful and I was intrigued the whole time. The whole story ties together and this would be a perfect darker fantasy tale for an older middle grade and YA reader. The combination of journal entries, images, and third person POV of Olivia worked well and I will be excited to see how the final book comes together, especially the gorgeous illustrations.
Thank you to NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Olivia has grown up in a home for girls, with no family, and no voice. Her one familial keepsake, her mother's journal, is deeply unsettling. And when Olivia is called to her family's ancestral home, she realizes why. There are deep secrets in Gallant. It's easy to get lost among the shadows. The weight of her family's heritage is heavy upon her cousin, and it may weigh Olivia down as well. This is spooky and atmospheric, excellent for readers who could see themselves slipping between the cracks and trading pieces of themselves for the ability to belong somewhere, or to have a little power of their own. Recommend to those who like lyrical gothic family dramas.
Coraline has always been the book I read to my students in the fall. However, next fall, I am absolutely convinced I am going to give this book a try in the classroom. Everything I and my students love about Gothic stories is here, and I think my students would relish in the opportunity to explore such a supremely crafted world. I loved it so much that I finished the book in one sitting, if that says anything at all!