Cover Image: Gallant

Gallant

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Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley & HarperCollins Children's Books for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

A very lyrical and gothic story about ghouls and a house stuck inbetween worlds.

I couldn't really get into this one, I had trouble understanding anything that was going on... The images painted with the words were beautiful, but I just don't tend to get metaphorical writing/plots. It also doesn't help that the characters were super one dimensional...if anything, I wanted a book about Olivia's parents instead because they sounded way more interesting than Olivia herself, ha.
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This is my first experience with this author, and I am highly impressed.  I have heard high praises for her work, and now I know why. The writing is beautiful and flows smoothly as the story unfolds. I fell in love with the characters, and particularly Olivia. Olivia is so brave and curious about her surroundings. She also has a desire to belong and find home. This should resonate with us all. It's a story of good verses evil and the sacrifices it takes to protect those we love. I would love to see this adapted into a film. Bravo!
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Olivia Prior doesn’t remember life before living at Merilance orphanage since she was dropped off at such a young age. During her childhood, it became clear that she was different from other children since she saw ghouls, shadowy images of those who are now dead. The only possession she has is her mother’s journal with an ominous final line: “You will be safe as long as you stay away from Gallant. But when a letter from her unknown uncle arrives, Olivia is sent from Merilance and finds herself at Gallant, a house brimming with secrets. As she engages with her cousin and the house’s staff members, Olivia seeks to unravel the mysteries of Gallant before they catch up with her.

I enjoyed Gallant a great deal. Much of this had to do with the gothic nature of the setting and the atmosphere that V.E. Schwab creates. The slow unraveling of the mystery and the addition of new aspects to the house and property offer a natural unspooling that kept me wanting more. I was also pleased by the representation of a deaf protagonist. This added an extra element to the story given that Olivia could communicate through sign language but only when others look at her. Schwab masters the ability to consider what is in and out of eyesight in the novel by including Olivia and her talent for seeing what others cannot.

Overall, if you enjoy novels that take on the ability to fall through doors into another world, you’ll enjoy Gallant. In particular, fans of dark fairytales and Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series will enjoy the novel and find similarities in terms of atmosphere.
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This was fine. I loved the writing and the atmosphere, but the overall story fell a bit flat for me. This is definitely a me thing, as this book felt more like middle-grade or younger YA and that's just not really my thing. Olivia as a main character is great and there are many things to love about this story. The story is accompanied by gorgeous illustrations and the lovely writing really works for the gothic atmosphere. This is an objectively good, well-written book and I think many people will absolutely adore it. I'm glad that I read it, but I don't think it will stick with me like some of Schwab's other books.

3.5 stars
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VE Schwab’s lyrical prose shines through in her newest release, Gallant. While a seemingly short read, coming in at a little under 300 pages, it does not lack complexity or depth. This book weaves a gothic tale reminiscent of the classics you find being taught in classrooms across America. 

Olivia has never had a family. Raised by matrons at Merilance School for girls, she’s always been an outcast. She does not fit in and she does not have a voice to make a sound, making her an easy target for the other girls. What she does have is her mother’s journal, full of secrets more than comforting words. She also has the ghouls. Surrounded by decaying specters most of her life, Olivia is long past feeling afraid. 

Her life changes when a letter arrives from an uncle welcoming her home - home to Gallant. But according to her mother’s journal, Gallant is the one place Olivia must never go if she wishes to remain safe. But Olivia sees no choice and she’s immensely curious about the family she’s never had. 

When she arrives she’s greeted by a long-defunct mansion and her unwelcoming cousin, Matthew, who’s determined to see her back on her way to somewhere else, anywhere else. Olivia resists and begins exploring Gallant and its grounds trying to uncover the shadowy secrets that haunt its halls and her family. But she finds more than she bargained for when she steps into another world, one hungry to get out and devour more than just her. 

Gallant is engaging from start to finish with quick pacing that does not get bogged down despite its more flowery language. VE Schwab is masterful at not overdoing details while still giving readers a full picture of the atmosphere and emotions behind her story. Gallant trends more towards her style in The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue but with a darker twist. It is also more of a cerebral story that goes deeper than just surface level, much like Addie LaRue. It leaves things up for interpretation, for the reader to fill in the gaps in their mind - but in a purposeful way that leaves a reader thinking about it long after the cover is shut.

One thing to note: while the narrator of Gallant is fabulous, the physical book is the superior option due to the illustrations and details throughout that lend themselves to the story in a way that does not fully translate to audio. 

Overall, this is a stellar book for any Schwab fan or anyone looking for a quick gothic read. It's appropriate for a younger reader who is looking for a spooky book, and a great jumping-off point for maybe more mature content down the road.
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Gallant by V.E. Schwab follows an unusual young woman named Olivia Prior. Olivia has always been perceived as odd by those around her due to her mutism, but what truly makes Olivia strange is her ability to see ghouls— the half-decayed ghosts of people long-gone. She’s grown up an orphan, with nothing but her late mother’s journal as any proof she ever had family at all. The journal is not a happy one— but one that shows her mother’s descent into madness and death, ending with a warning: “The shadows are not real, the dreams can never hurt you, and you will be safe as long as you stay away from Gallant.” And yet, Gallant proves hard to stay away from when a letter from her long-lost uncle appears at the school and she’s forced to leave everything behind to be reunited with her estranged family. But when she arrives at Gallant, her uncle is long-dead and there’s more going on than anyone will tell her— the dreams are becoming more real, the ghouls she sees are of members of her own family, and there’s something hidden on the other side of the garden wall… V.E. Schwab does it again with a perfectly atmospheric and eerie tale unlike any I’ve ever read before! The descriptions toe the line of visually appealing and utterly creepy, and the questions will keep you searching for answers until the very last page. This book may not be for everyone, but if you like books that are spooky but not scary, fantastical but not fantasy, and full of questions and mysteries, then I would highly recommend you check this one out!
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While this isn't usually my wheelhouse, it's VE Schwab so I had to read it. The writing is definitely good. It was delivered in a suspenseful way albeit a bit slow. It still would make you want to continue reading the book further. As a whole, I think it was not bad of read!
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This was my first V.E. Schwab book. If her other books are that good.... it won't be my last!

I grew up obsessed with gothic literature. I am really happy to reconnect with the genre!

Many many thanks to HarperCollins Canada for the complimentary e-copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Absolutely marvelous gothic mystery! It was a dream of a book. It's definitely one I will recommend to the teens coming to my programs. Thank you to Netgalley for letting me read this book early in exchange for an honest review.
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V.E. Schwab may not be for me anymore. It took me 75% of the book to figure out where we were going here, and a compelling premise turned into a disappointment.
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V.E. Schwab never fails to give beautifully written work, and "Gallant" is no exception. The world pulls you in with mystery and shadows that make you search for the full picture throughout the story. Though I was enraptured by the world, I was left wanting more at the end. I felt as though I didn't fully connect to the characters and did not have enough emotional investment in their success. The characters and situations were very interesting and I simply wanted to get to know and relate to them more! Unfortunately, the climactic moment left me wanting becuase I lacked those connections. 

V.E. Schwab crafts a beautifully interesting world with incredibly interesting chracters and situations, but I wanted to feel more for them so that I could be invested in them and their cause.
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Let’s talk about beautiful prose in today’s #caittalksbooks 

I’ve been a fan of @veschwab since I stumbled upon the otherworldly library in THE ARCHIVED. Schwab recently said that she never writes for the same reader, but I must politely disagree as a reader of hers who loves all the stories she pens. From a writing perspective, I completely understand her perspective though because each stories is so different from one another that a reader of one might not love another.

But GALLANT? Who could not love this atmospheric, gothic, SECRET GARDEN-esque story?

Olivia Prior has never truly had a home, until she discovers her family ties to Gallant. Despite her unexpected arrival, her hostile cousin, & the ghouls haunting the halls, Olivia refuses to leave until she learns Gallant’s secrets. Crossing a ruined wall at just the right time propels her into a parallel world where Gallant is crumbling & a shadow man calls to her. 

Schwab’s prose is delicious & despite spring’s arrival, I couldn’t help but yearn for the cozy gloom of fall as I lost myself in these pages. Schwab’s vivid prose is a masterclass in atmosphere & setting that will sweep you away to the world of Gallant.

And Olivia. Oh how I loved her. Schwab offers a beautiful representation of a nonverbal character who finds her voice in such a strong way. 

Whether this is simply a read to get lost in or one to use in a classroom, it’s one worth reading. And if you’ve yet to pick up one of Schwab’s stories, I highly suggest this one.

A few ways to use this in the high school #elaclassroom are:
▫️independent/choice reading for fantasy & paranormal fans 
▫️integrate into lit circles centered around gothic lit
▫️use it as a model text in a creative writing course, specifically looking at setting, atmosphere, characterization, & Schwab’s vivid prose
▫️if using in middle school, pair with a reading of THE SECRET GARDEN & compare protagonists

Thanks to @netgalley and @greenwillowbooks for the advanced copy in exchange for my review.
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Wow. That book was so beautifully written and I could picture both worlds of Gallant so clearly. It was so atmospheric and was dark but also had so much life that was given to add color to the world. Victoria’s writing was beautiful and the art added to the story itself.
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There are few authors I trust more than V.E. Schwab. Gallant is a beautifully chilling tale, mixing familiar elements of literary fiction with gothic horror to create something that is wholly unique, as Schwab's stories always are. Gallant's narrator, Olivia, is born mute, and yet her personality and heart leaps from the pages. Schwab's passion and mastery of language creates an unforgettable experience in this tale of old blood, the search for belonging, and things hidden just behind the darkest shadows.
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I requested this as soon as it popped up on Netgalley and I've been so excited to read it! V. E. Schwab has said that none of her books have ever been written for the same audience, and yet, I have loved every single one of them. I will definitely be purchasing a copy because I want, no, I need to read this book again.
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If one loved/liked haunting the hill then they would definitely enjoy this book. I have always loved Schwab’s books and stories. There’s something about her writing and the world that illicit feelings within me. I really loved the whole set up, word building, a never boring and the super engaging plot line. It was definitely a full 5 stars read for me.
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I absolutely adore the cover for Gallant by V.E. Schwab and the story inside is just as lovely! Gallant isn't my favorite Schwab book ever, but I still really loved it.

Gallant is about family and legacies and holding back the dark. Olivia is such a fantastic main character. She's angry, stubborn, lonely, and extremely relatable. I also loved the way Schwab handled Olivia being mute and frustrated by the limitations she faces because of it, how easy it is for someone to silence her by turning their back so they can't see her signing. How often she must put in extra work to communicate because those around her don't know sign language. Olivia's mixture of anger and desperation for love and family is perfectly portrayed and compelling.

Schwab's writing is beautiful as always, and this story also features beautiful and haunting illustrations that I adored. I'd highly recommend giving Gallant a read!
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This was a delightfully spooky read. If you're a Schwab fan you'll devour this one! The writing is a lush and beautiful as ever and it draws you right in. I felt like the ending was a bit abrupt, but maybe I was just yearning for more!
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This is my first V. E. Schwab book, and I have no regrets. Olivia's yearning for a family is what shapes this book, and  Gallant is enchanting. It was a quick read masterfully done, which is why I'm sold on Schwab's storytelling. Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to reach this book.
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Short summary - 
Olivia is a nonverbal orphan, trying to piece together where she came from using her mother’s journal and wondering where she really belongs. Where will she go after she leaves Merilance? Then she receives a mysterious letter from a relative who urges her to come home to Gallant. But Gallant is a place that her mother has said she won’t be safe. She has no where else to go and she longs to meet this family that she didn’t know she had. But Gallant is not what she expected at all. In fact, they are surprised when she shows up. Who wrote the letter summoning her to this place and what has become of the long history of Priors who lived and died on the grounds of this place? Moreover, what is beyond the wall? 

Overall review -
This book was dark, atmospheric, and macabre. I don’t usually read much YA fantasy, but this one was entertaining to me. I felt like it was a bit of a mash up between Mexican Gothic and Alice in Wonderland. I recommend giving this one a shot. 
Overall rating - 4 ⭐️
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