Cover Image: Gallant

Gallant

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Member Reviews

Gallant is a deliciously horripilating book of ghouls and curses; a careful, dark, poetic tale of life and death, of family, of fate and choice, and of both realizing and deciding where we belong. 

A perfect story to read on a dark, chilly evening with a good blanket, a mug of tea, and a plate of toast.
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nother book from Victoria Schwab for readers of all (or at least most) ages!

Olivia Prior is all alone and living most of her life (from what she can remember) at Merilance School for Girls. Her only company is a journal of her mother’s filled with thoughts that don’t quite make much sense but that still bring comfort to her in the midst of a lonely life without much love or feelings of belonging.

One day, unexpectedly, a letter arrives from a supposed uncle asking Olivia to come home to Gallant, where she has a family who loves her and people waiting to welcome her back. But upon arrival, Olivia feels less than welcomed and over time begins to discover that there’s a lot more to Gallant than meets the eye and more to her mother’s journal than she initially realized. 

Something sits and waits behind a gate on Gallant’s grounds, and it is hungry. What will Olivia discover beyond, and can she muster the courage to save the something (and someones) that she’s only just found, or will she be too late?

What I Loved:
- This has Victoria Schwab’s writing style all over it. The phrases she strings together to describe feelings and sometimes small, but momentous and meaningful events … chef’s kiss. No one writes like she does.
- I loved the gloomy atmosphere, but it wasn’t too stifling and it didn’t overwhelm, it just was. While the story wasn’t super crystal clear on a historic timeline, it felt very Victorian era but I imagine it might’ve been a bit more recent than that (early ish 1900s?). It almost gave me “A Little Princess” vibes in regards to atmosphere and setting. 
- There were so many fun elements to the house, Gallant, that I loved, like secret passageways and hidden doors leading to other places. It was easy to get wrapped up in the adventure of exploring spaces. 
- I loved the story of Olivia’s parents that is slowly revealed.
- The premise was really interesting and had scenes that were slightly reminiscent of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell as well as Shades of Magic.
- I loved the “friendly ghost” aspect that was really key to the story and their abilities to interact with Olivia in the way they did.

What I Didn’t Love:
- While this book did end on a positive note, there were plenty of little moments of sadness (though they were all part of the story and well done and necessary, etc., etc.)
- Aside from that, I only wish that there had been more. 

Overall:
I really loved this book. There was something about it that was soothing to fall into. I always picked it up at night before bed and felt like I was reading myself to sleep with a good middle grade novel. There were some fantasy, horror, and sort of paranormal elements to this story, but it wasn’t too creepy, though for much younger readers there might be a character or few that an active imagination could run away with. I think it’d be a great read for middle graders and up. (And yes, definitely adults!)

Content Warnings:
- Loss of family members (grief, coping)
- Death of a relative
- A tinge bit of violence but nothing wild

Other Notes:
- Free of language
- No mature content 
- Potentially a character or two that might be deemed a bit scary for younger readers

Thank you to Netgalley and Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins for an e-ARC of this book!
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This title combines the wonder of discovering a hidden world in a vein similar to "The Secret Garden", but with a darker twist. It also incorporates the same sense of stumbling upon a doorway that feels akin to Seanan McGuire's "Wayward Children" series. Therefore, the book is perfect for anyone that likes being a little lost in worlds that only seem to be one step away from our reality. 

Abandoned at the Merilance School for girls, Olivia Prior only has her mother's journal, which is filled with strange illustrations and rambling entries. This all changes when Olivia receives a letter from her long-lost uncle inviting her to come to Gallant. Desperate for a place to belong, Olivia heads to the Gallant and uncovers secrets about her family. For next to Gallant, exists a parallel world, where a dark lord resides and rules over ghouls and other shadows. Olivia decides to stay behind, but she must decide between picking up the Prior mantle or joining the Master of the House. 

Schwab delivers a darker version of a lost child coming home and ultimately finding their place in the world. Olivia's story is enjoyable and rewarding as she progresses from being an unwanted child to discovering her purpose as she fights back against the shadows in her newfound home. However, this book felt like it was directed at a younger audience and as a result, did not delve into darker themes, but instead treaded in the spoopy territory. I would have loved to see more complex world-building and character arcs, but this was a solid standalone for those who love a haunted manor story.
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I...wow, is all I have to say right now. 

Gallant is full of mystery and wonder. It's equal parts horror and exquisite prose, unsettling yet impossible to put down. It remains one of the more difficult books for me to pin down, genre-wise. It's as if literary fiction and horror and YA combined to have this utter beast of a book. And it worked so, so well. 

The family history and dynamic was addictive; the prose made me feel as if I were with Olivia at Gallant, watching her look towards the garden wall, wondering what's just across the way. 

As always, Schwab is a powerhouse of an author, and this book doesn't disappoint.
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I'm unable to read this copy as I need a kindle version. I will edit and update my feedback as needed once I'm able to download a copy onto my kindle and read it. Thank you.
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Thank you so much to publisher for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!! 

I don’t even know what to say. Ms. Schwab has done it again and I’ve fallen in love with another one of her books. I’m obsessed with the darkness, the way she ties sadness and strength together. Just ahhhh loved it so much!

Olivia, an orphan at a school for orphan girls, only has vague memories of her mother, but she has her journal. And when a mysterious letter comes from an uncle she never knew she had, she takes the opportunity to escape the orphanage. She arrived at Gallant and realizes the house and everyone in it is full of secrets. Determined to discover them, she realizes she may not want to know Gallant’s secrets. Full of shadows, death, and darkness she crosses over to an alternate world, a shadow world, and sees where she truly came from.

This book is just…. Oh em gee. It was beautiful and heartbreaking, dark and light, full of hopelessness and promise. The juxtaposition of everything is so well done and I loved original content that felt like a new fairytale. This has definitely become a new favorite of mine.
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Thanks, NetGalley, for my ARC copy of Gallant!

This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys Neil Gaiman; it's appropriate for most ages like The Graveyard Book, and it reads so well that I couldn't wait to see what twists were coming. From ghouls to Death itself and back again, this book was a great adventure.
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I think if this had been a longer, more developed idea, it could have been an easy 5 stars from me, but in it's current state, Gallant moves slowly without the world building I've come to expect from the author. That said, it is Victoria Schwab, and even not at her peak she is still able to create lush, atmospheric stories. I cannot wait to see the full illustrations in the final copy once released!
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Victoria Schwab is easily the best writer I’ve come across in the fantasy genre. This book is SO well written it’s actually insane. Every word has meaning and each sentence is crafted to perfection! I was definitely picking up Neil Gaiman and Shirley Jackson vibes from this book. I’m not sure if it’s pitched as Gothic but the manor really makes it feel like it is! Overall this was such a beautifully written book per usual!

**Thank you so much to Harper Collins for sending me a copy to review!
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Really liked this one. It’s been a summer of haunted houses for me, and this one was another solid story. 

There were some elements I felt slightly rushed or breezed over, but in the end I understand why it was structured the way it was. This has a wonderfully spooky atmosphere, and the concept (though it took a lil while to get there) was worth the wait. 

*thanks to netgalley for this ARC*
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I don’t know what I expected from this book, but I definitely didn’t expect what I got. It had a very similar vibe to The Near Witch; it was short, dark, and a strange kind of sweet. 

Olivia, the main character is fourteen. And she’s completely mute. That made for a super interesting dynamic and I love the way she interacted with the other characters. She didn’t have a lot of depth to her character, though, which may in part be because she didn’t express herself much at all. I would’ve loved to have more character development for her. 

The setting reminded me a bit of Stranger Things, with the parallel worlds divided by a portal, one of them full of life and one of them full of death, and Olivia going back and forth between them. I wish there had been more time spent on both of them, as I was left feeling like I didn’t have the whole picture. It felt kind of like watching an old black and white movie, knowing that there’s more that what you’re seeing, but not being able to see it. I really wanted to see each world get fleshed out more and given more focus. 

Overall this was a very short, plot driven story. The dark setting could easily have made it a thriller, but instead of being scary it was more a gentle haunting that leaves you wondering what kind of tea the ghost would prefer. My only complaint is that there’s not more of it.
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Another hauntingly beautiful story from Victoria Schwab. With a unique story concept and an unconventional way of telling the story, Schwab has once again shown her master story weaving skills. 

I love the ways that Olivia finds to communicate without her voice. She is a smart girl and through her eyes the story really comes to life. The artwork is such an amazing way of telling the story too. There are so many ways to interpret the art but I think that adds to the depth of the story. I found the art set the tone for the story early on but as the revelation of who created the drawings and what they represent to the story is revealed, each piece takes on a whole new meaning. 

Overall, just a fantastic, creepy story told in a unique way.
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You can’t go wrong picking up a Victoria Schwab book. Her writing is beautiful, her stories are easy to get lost in, and her characters/worlds are awesome.

Gallant is a unique, haunting story about Olivia and her journey to find home. I was so enamored with the story. The only I thing I wish there was more of was the world building and character development. I don’t want to say much, I think going into this story not knowing much really adds to the mystery of Gallant. But definitely keep your eyes out for this one next year. It’s gorgeous.

Many thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for sending me an ARC.
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I generally like Victoria Schwab's work, but I found myself disappointed in this book-mainly the ending.  The book did have a great pace and I stayed interested, but the ending just didn't work for what I was expecting.  I am not sure whether this novel is meant to be a stand alone, but it seems to be expecting a sequel.
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It's no surprise that Victoria's writing absolutely blew me away, it always does. Every so often I'd come across a line so beautifully written that it'd catch me by surprise and I'd have to stop to read it over again and again. The colorless environment makes everything so cold and dark and creepy, really setting the tone. The crimson peak description is spot on with the grandiose house, the flowy night gowns, candles, and decaying ghosts. 

Our main character is easy to sympathize with and strong willed. The book doesn't overwhelm you with a large cast of characters and the ones that appear are there for a reason. This may be labelled as a YA book but it had me crying by the end. 

This whole time I have been needing a gothic horror novel from Schwab and never knew it. Easy 5/5 for me.
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First, a huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for approving my request. 

At this point, I’m convinced V.E. Schwab can’t write a bad book. 

It’s so hard for me to explain without giving away everything that happens in the book. 

But what I can say it that this is for any age. Middle school me, high school me, and right now would all give this 5 stars. 

I can’t finish this review without talking about the illustrations, so I’ll just conclude that they’re all beautiful. I love what they added to the story, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy in March.
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#Gallant #NetGalley
A very different tale than what I am used to from Victoria Schwab. It took a little longer to get into, but the overall story is dark and suspenseful. It just was slow to get into compared to her other materials.
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Will not read. Unavailable to send to Kindle device.
Will not read. Unavailable to send to Kindle device.
Will not read. Unavailable to send to Kindle device.
Will not read. Unavailable to send to Kindle device.
Will not read. Unavailable to send to Kindle device.
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Olivia Prior has yearned for answers about her family's past, and what her mother was like. All she has to go by is a discarded journal her mother left behind, a symbol of Olivia's very being that she clings to as she navigates life at the Merilance School for Girls. But when Olivia is suddenly whisked away from the confines of the orphanage-like school, and reunited with extended family at a home with a curious garden, she is forced to confront her family's secrets. Just as Superman has Bizarro Superman, so too does Galant have an imperfect clone. There is a place on the other side of Olivia's new home, just past a crumbling wall in the garden, and she must grapple with what she learns when she crosses over to it. This book plunges the reader into the darkness of a world unknown, with descriptions so rich, they will feel as though they've been transported alongside Olivia. The touch of a wilting flower, the tone of a villain's voice, the creak of floorboards in a dilapidated hallway — Schwab gives life to the bleak and shadowy place just beyond our own. The book slowly pieces together a portrait of a lost girl on a quest  to find the truth about who she is, where she's from, and what will make her feel whole.

One super nit-picky aspect: The use of "And yet...." throughout the novel is noticeably abundant.
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Gallant is a hauntingly atmospheric story that is a cross between Coraline and Mexican Gothic. I really enjoyed reading this, but it was very different then other books in Victoria Schwab's impressive collection. Gallant is not driven by action; it is much slower paced, giving the reader time to sink into the world. The only draw back I has was with the ending. I did not feel satisfied as if there were a few promises that were made earlier in the book that did not come to fruition; things were answered and solved, just not in the way I personally had been expecting. But overall, this was a great read and I recommend it to readers who enjoyed Schwab's Nearwitch.
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