Cover Image: Gallant

Gallant

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Member Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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!
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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.
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5 stars!  Schwab is perfection and I will continue to read everything she writes!  Her world building and character development is always fantastic.
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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.
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This was SUCH a good read. The atmosphere within this book was tense and spooky and beautiful all at once. The characters were interesting and I loved watching the story behind the Prior's slowly unravel.  I really enjoyed the use of journal entries and drawings to progress the story as well. This was a solid work that fans of Schwab will enjoy, but it still felt like an accessible fantasy story. I love that it's a single entry as well - not as much of a commitment compared to longer series.
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Eerie and atmospheric, Gallant feels like the dark sequel to a fairytale--not Disney but Grimm--wherein we find out what happens to the girl made of two worlds. Olivia is a haunting and heartfelt protagonist, and both Gallant and the other Gallant are exceptionally well drawn, viscerally places. For all that the stakes in this book are ultimately very high--and the ravaged state of Olivia's family certainly attests to this--it also a quiet story filled with shadows and half-formed ghosts and whispers echoing through time. All in all a solid, otherworldly read that lives up to its blurb.
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Victoria Schwab is an insta-read author for me.  I have read several of her books for all age ranges.  I was very excited to be approved for Gallant.  That being said, I was a little disappointed in the overall story.  

There were many things I liked.  Olivia is a wonderful character and I love that Schwab took on the challenge of a MC that could not speak and had to find other ways of communicating.  The world building was very detailed and the ghouls were just creepy enough without being too terribly scary.  I enjoyed the backstory of Olivia's parents and the other Gallant beyond the wall with its ruins and evil master.

I just felt like there could have been so much more.  When the book ended, not much had really changed for Gallant and the Priors.  Matthew was dead, but Olivia was now taking his place and Death was contained but not really defeated.  It really just put Olivia in a very hopeless place.  And honestly I'm not sure what the point of the book was supposed to be if Olivia just ended up taking Matthew's spot.  I guess finally feeling like she belonged to a family, but even then she had lost the last living blood relative she had. I wish things had ended on a more happier note or that Matthew's sacrifice would have been worth so much more.
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Home is calling to Olivia Prior. It's a relief for a girl bullied for her muteness in an all-girls' home, but when she arrives at Gallant, it's not the homecoming she was hoping for. Though the Priors belong to a grand estate, they are survived only by a hostile and sickly teenage cousin, two caretakers, and the ghoulish forms of family members who never left the estate.
Olivia knows something sinister is at work at Gallant, and she is determined to find out before she is forced from the first place that has ever felt like home. Her curiosity brings her across the crumbling garden wall and to a sinister mirror world where Gallant stands, but crookedly. There, the Master of the other Gallant welcomes her and grants her a chance to prove herself to her family.
But does that mean joining him behind the wall or defending Gallant as the other Priors did?
Although the body of V.E. Schwab’s work plays in liminal spaces, she hardly depends on space to build tensions in her plot. Gallant is Schwab's best work when it comes to depicting the complexity of human relationships, especially between family members, in a manner that strikes not only younger readers but adult readers as well. Schwab balances so many of Olivia’s personal discoveries at once: her discovery of her parentage, the meaning behind the drawings in her mother’s notebook, Olivia’s tentative friendship with Matthew, and her growing antagonism with the Master of the House. Gallant is not sprawling. I imagine it’s a pretty thin book. Still, its emotional depth is astonishing.
To return to plot, I felt truly unsure of the protagonist’s ability to defeat the villain. Where normally Schwab’s characters are larger-than-life beings strapped with cinematic capabilities, the Priors felt disproportionately small. A ferocious girl who can’t talk and her sickly cousin debilitated by dreams and guilt against a being feasts on life itself? I could hardly get to the conclusion fast enough.
In the end, Gallant is a book about loss. Just as Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was a necessary balm to get us through 2020, Gallant will help us reckon with the end of whatever the hell these last two years were. In other words, it’s a quieter, more gloomy book, but one that is no less necessary.
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A dark and atmospheric fairytale. I wasn't sure about it until I got to the half way mark, but I loved the creepy, unsettling setting and the straightforward but mesmerizing story.
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Victoria Schwab has done it again! Gallant is creepy in all the right ways. Schwab's world building is superb. When you finish reading, you'll be wondering what's behind your garden wall and pulling the weeds will never be the same again!
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A dark story with lots of twists and turns.  I read this right after reading Addie LaRue and it reminded me a lot about that one.  I enjoyed the letter to readers at the beginning that talked about doors being the portals from one world to another.  This of this as the Secret Garden, but darker.
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One of my favorite reads so far this year. Schwab has been my favorite author for a while now and she has yet to disappoint. Even before finishing this, I immediately placed a preorder for the book because I was loving it so much. The writing was beautifully done and the two worlds of Gallant were everything I wanted.
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Filled with Schwab's characteristically lush worldbuilding and evocative description, I loved melting into this world and discovering its secrets through the main character's eyes. Following a bright and curious girl, Olivia is an orphan, raised in a home for girls but always held separate for her inability to speak, and her ability to see ghouls, half-formed spirits of the dead that linger invisibly to all but her. Summoned a letter from the family she never knew she had, Olivia is transported to the family estate of Gallant, a grand manor that has seen better days, and is filled with secrets. This gothic horror was perfect for a gently spooky read on a stormy day, and will be a big hit with Victoria Schwab fans, as well as have broad appeal for both YA and adult audiences.
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I want to start by saying that I LOVED Addie LaRue. By the end of the year, I will have 11 copies of it on my shelf. I never thought I could love a standalone as much as Addie. Ever.

I was wrong.

Gallant is...incredible, in every sense of the word.

Olivia is such a strong female character.
She struggles with her disability at times but never allows it to hold her back. The way Schwab crafts Olivia, her family, and her world is so seamless, its a masterpiece. When all the pieces finally fit together, it's magic.

The ghouls, the wall, THE HOUSE? They are all characters in their own right. Schwab gives inanimate objects and DEAD beings, life.

Gallant is my favorite read of 2021. Hands down. The words to explain how much I adore it simply do not exist.

Thank you for another book that feels like coming home, Schwab. Once again, you gave me a book I never knew I needed. ❤
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This book reminded me of Addie LaRue. Beautiful descriptions of place and the character building was great. I cared about Olivia and her family and wanted to know why they were stuck at the house, destined to be driven crazy.

The plot wasn't all that enticing. I stayed for the descriptions and the characters, but wasn't overly excited by the ending or lack of resolution, in my eyes, to the problem Olivia faced as now the last of her family.

While I  would have loved a badass heroine who saved her family and lived happily ever after after solving a centuries old problem, I appreciate what I did get. I appreciate the idea that Olivia stays in this cursed place with Hannah and Edgar because they are family, that and the cursed house are her lot in life, and that is better than no family at all.
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