Cover Image: Gallant


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Member Reviews

Crimson Peak meets Victoria Schwab

This novel was 5/5! Absolutely LOVED it. I love anything V.E/Victoria Schwab writes.

“Gallant” is a creepy, dark novel about a mute girl who meets up with her estranged family on her mother’s side. Their house is extravagant; beautiful! But something’s not quite right… follow Olivia and her discovery of a world full of shadows.

The ARTWORK! Wow!!! Absolutely beautiful and full of meaning. The writing is wonderfully full of meaning. This book is for low fantasy and dark academia lovers.
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“Gallant” is elegantly written and is a unique book with a creepy and foreboding vibe. As a slower paced horror story, the suspense and mystery are first and foremost the draw of the reading experience. Very few, if any, jump scares may cause some readers to put it down, but I still think my more mature middle schoolers will appreciate the beautiful prose and goosebump-worthy creepiness.
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This book was hauntingly beautiful.  I loved the main character.  The story drew me in right away.  It reminded me of Jane Eyre, The Secret Garden and Crimson Tide. The writing was just so beautiful.  I also loved the illustrations. They added so much to the book.  This is a definitely a book I will reread and recommend to all. The only part I didn't like was the abrupt ending.
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Another captivating, dark and incredible piece of work from VE Schwab. While this book is technically classified as YA, I feel like it surpasses genre expectations and can be a good recommendation for all ages. Schwab crafts an eerie world of Gallant, with beautiful illustrations included throughout the book that truly add to the reader's experience. Highly recommend!
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Gallant was properly enthralling. Having a main character that doesn't speak would be hard for any writer to pull off, but VE Schwab does it amazingly well. Olivia is a fascinating main character and her plucky spirit and inquisitive mind really drive this narrative forward. I would have liked just a bit more worldbuilding, some further explanation of the world the reader finds themselves in, but overall the story was very captivating.
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Many thanks to NetGalley and Greenwillow Books for an e-arc of Gallant! All opinions are my own.

Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of Schwab's writing. I own pretty much all of her books (minus ADSOM and Vengeful). I was worried about starting this one because I don't do spooky. I can confidently say it's the perfect amount of spooky for someone who does not like horror. I really enjoyed seeing the illustrations, and I liked the incorporation of the journal entries. The mystery of Gallant was really interesting. I kind of want to know what happens next after the epilogue.

If you like slightly spooky reads, Gallant would be perfect for you. It can be enjoyed by many different age groups as it's written to appeal to many different people. I think Gallant would be a great October read as well.
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What an absolutely gorgeous book! The illustrations were so eerie and complemented the story brilliantly! Schwab’s prose was dark and dreamy and while I never got the shivers, this was a very fun gothic read!
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Schwab does it again with another gorgeously written book. Gallant is the perfect atmospheric book to read, especially around the fall/spooky season, I feel. While the pacing wasn’t my favorite, I enjoyed the eery silence of Olivia’s world as she tries to piece together her past and present.
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I enjoyed this new YA book from V.E. Schwab so much, even more than Addie Larue - I will be recommending it to library patrons as a fast-paced read this summer.
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I'm surprised I didn't like this more. Victoria Schwab is a wonder but I didn't connect with Olivia as a character, or believe in her relationships with other characters. I'd recommend City of Ghosts (her Cassidy Blake series) instead.
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Olivia lives at Merilance, a girls’ school that is more of a bleak asylum/orphanage than an institution of learning. She never speaks, and she sees ghouls around every corner that no one else seems to see. Her only link to her past is a journal written by her mother, the ramblings of a madwoman who passed away years before. But then Olivia receives an invitation from a long lost relative, inviting her to come and live at a mysterious estate known as Gallant – a place that her mother’s journal has warned her to stay away from. 

This is a spooky, gorgeously written YA novel with vibes like The Secret Garden, only way creepier. Something about it failed to hold my attention, though - my mind kept wandering while reading.

The book includes several gorgeous illustrations, which are important to the story, but which are unfortunately not entirely visible when viewed in Adobe Digital Editions, which was how I read the book. This is not the first time this has happened - NetGalley really needs to find a better way of formatting books that are a mix of text and images. 

Representation: disabled (mute) character
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An atmospheric, gothic fantasy from a fantastic author that is perfect for middle grade and young adult readers.
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This book was amazing. I love V.E. Schwab. She is an auto buy author for me. This book was nothing like I have ever read. It was creepy and heartbreaking all at one time. The writing was atmospheric and beautiful. Overall, it was down right great. 

I could connect to the characters and the storyline was brilliant. It's a one of a kind book and I highly highly recommend it.
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I tried , I really tried to finish this one but I just got bored.  
This is the first book I have read by this author but I kept hearing amazing things about their books.    I so wanted to like this book
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Thank you to HCC Frenzy and Harper Collins for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is definitely a situation of “it’s not you it’s me”. Olivia, non-verbal girl has grown up in a school for girls and all she has of her mothers past is a journal. When you read the journal parts of it doesn’t make sense. Suddenly a letter arrives inviting Alivia to come home to Gallant. When she arrives “back home” no one was expecting her. So who sent the letter?

V. E. Schwab has a very unique writing style which I love and that is no different in this book. However this is a book that just did not deliver to my taste. This author writes for a variety of different readers and this book was not for me.

I think the author did a wonderful job in expressing the character even though she is nonverbal either through her actions or through other characters dialogue around her. I thought it was very interesting how I felt like the story didn’t drag too much when they were long periods where the character Olivia was not interacting with anyone.

However, for the most part I was bored and had no interest in the story. Simply, the story just wasn’t for me. But I think the story would be for many others.
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Olivia sees dead people. Well, she refers to them as ghouls, but that muddles the quote. We embark on this literary journey in V.E. Schwab’s newest edition to her incredible library of works with a peek into the life of an orphaned mute who finds herself in the company of the dead.

Before getting into it, I feel it’s necessary to preface this review with a couple of things. One, this is not my first V.E. Schwab rodeo. Two, in general I rate her books highly because I enjoy her writing style and the worlds she builds. To be frank, this book tracks. If anything, I consider Schwab’s newest entry into her library her best one yet. Why? Honestly, let me count the ways. 

As I mentioned, Schwab knows how to build a world. She does an exceptional job crafting environments and moods that make for easy immersion, and this book is no exception. I found myself fully immersed in Gallant early on. She deftly and seamlessly eases you into the gray-toned, ominous atmosphere. The language and descriptive style she employs never feels forced; I don’t get the sense that she’s teaching me about the world, rather, she’s integrating me into it. 

Olivia, on the other hand, is uncomfortably situated in her world. She’s an orphan with little clue into her past outside of a cryptic diary of thoughts and illustrations from her mother. Other than the odd company she involuntarily keeps, she’s a black sheep that ruffles feathers with her peers. Though we can primarily attribute her struggles connecting with others to her inability to talk, there’s a general sense that something is off about her. In the intimate moments we should be experiencing via dialog with other characters, we’re instead feeling connected directly with Olivia in her frustrations and limitations. 

That being said, where there is dialog, it feels natural, honest. Despite our protagonist being mute, each interaction is meaningful; there’s not a whole lot of fluff. In fact, I believe we’re afforded additional emotion and character building because of her circumstance. There are times where another character’s flaws are highlighted by how they choose (and don’t choose) to interact with Olivia. I got frustrated alongside her when it felt like we were both on the tip of discovery, but held back because another character chose to physically turn away from her, rendering any sort of communication non-existent. Her disability is often used at both her disadvantage as well as her advantage, and it adds to her life experience without having to explicitly say so. You can feel in your bones that this is a common struggle she faces and it makes each of those moments more heartfelt and frustrating as the reader.

A trope that I’ve found hard to get used to in some of Schawb’s past works is time jumping and perspective shifts. In Gallant I believe she’s honed that skill. Narrator switches are fairly common, not only in Schawb’s body of work, but in the fantasy genre at large. In Olivia’s tale, however, she is the primary focus. Occasionally we’ll have minor, paragraph-long interludes in between chapters, but the perspective doesn’t stray far from the storytelling goal. Schwab also includes some moments where we’re thrown into Olivia’s past, but these instances sneak in as anecdotal and relevant tidbits we pick up on the way. We’re not left guessing where we are in her timeline. 

I’m particularly grateful for this evolution in Schwab’s writing style because it made the pacing steadier. Even the tense parts moved at a consistent speed. I always feel like we’re moving toward this goal of finding (and more importantly choosing) home and all that it entails. It’s a delightful notion that’s carried on throughout the book without feeling like we’re lamenting on what she lacks. By the time we reach a conclusion to her journey, I’m both satiated and wanting more. This is likely one of the only epilogues I have actively wanted to read. When I read the last page of the last chapter, I immediately flipped with hunger to see if we would get a hint of a continuation. For the sake of those of you like me that don’t want to know that kind of thing before reading, just trust that the book ends well. Not to say that it ended in a good or bad way narratively, but I confidently believe you’ll be happy with either potential outcome. 

If it’s not clear, I really enjoyed this book. It felt like a Lemony Snicket for adults mixed with the right amount of intrigue and momentum. The story draws you in and makes you keep reading chapter to chapter without feeling like you’re butting up to an egregious cliffhanger anytime something interesting happens. 

For fellow Schawb fans (or at least readers), I think it’s important to note that she does tend to rely on tropes and general concepts that she writes around in her other books. But, honestly, I’m not sure I even care. I’m always interested to see the different perspectives she gives to a similar subject/idea and this is definitely a fine example of her doing that. 

Whether it’s your first dive into a V.E. Schwab book or another entry into your TBR featuring Schwab, I would say give it a read. Every time she picks up the pen, she creates an enjoyable read. I ate this up in a matter of days, so if nothing else it’ll give you another notch in your 2022 reading goals.
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This was my first V.E. Schwab book and I will say off the bat, it’s definitely a middle school/YA book. I enjoyed it for sure but I’ve realized that I can’t read books geared towards a younger crowd. However, that’s a me issue.

Olivia Prior has been raised at the less than stellar Merilance School for girls. She only has memories of her mother in the place of her mother’s journal. Her father…she’s not sure who he might be. 

One day she receives a letter asking her to “come home”. Home being Gallant. The house where her mother grew up in. Olivia goes but doesn’t receive the warmest of welcomes. She sees ghouls everywhere and her cousin, Matthew, isn’t the friendliest. 

While at Gallant she discovers that the home is full of secrets. Both light and dark. As well as she might just be able to finally know where her father is from. Olivia is also mute so it was interesting to read how she would communicate with others. 

Gallant was a bit slow for me but if you enjoy twists and turns then this one is for you!
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“When people see tears, they stop listening to your hands or your words or anything else you have to say. And it doesn't matter if the tears are angry or sad, frightened or frustrated. All they see is a girl crying.”

Gallant by V.E. Schwab follows Olivia, a girl who cannot speak, from her orphanage to a house that’s filled with secrets and ghouls. An atmospheric mashup of The Sixth Sense and The Secret Garden. I loved it.

This is a perfect entry level book for middle grade readers into older spooky/gothic reads.

Thanks to @netgalley for the ARC.
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I definitely didn’t hate this book… but I also definitely didn’t love it. I don’t think that I should have started with this as my first V.E. Schwab book… because it was kind of a let down. That’s not to say that this was a horrible book. More like… it felt unbelievable to me. AND I KNOW THIS IS A FANTASY/SUPERNATURAL BOOK, but it felt like we spent way too much time focusing on Olivia and her backstory in an orphanage rather than focusing on any real plot-building material. Why do ghouls exist? What caused there to be an alternate reality/upside down of this area (they sort of explain this point but I felt like it was a throw away because I don’t even remember it at this point)? I also wanted more Prior backstory of the entire family, not just Olivia. It felt way too short for me. Either should have been a longer stand alone or a duology. Not my favorite, and probably won’t recommend.
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In this ghoulish tale the young orphan Olivia longs to know what really happened to her parents. Being mute, Olivia struggles with finding her place and longs to have a home. One day a letter from an unknown uncle arrives inviting her to Gallant. There she meets a cousin Matthew who wants her to leave and servants Hannah and Edgar who embrace her but worry for her well being. No one will tell Olivia why she shouldn’t be at Gallant and while she is drawn to the wall by the garden she starts to realize that there is something very strange about Gallant. In the end Olivia discovers the secret to her past and the secrets of the shadows. Readers will want to linger in the shadows as they put together the pieces of this evil enchanted tale.
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