Book Review: Gallant
It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday! Okay, I’ll stop with the awful song lyrics. I’m just glad it’s the end of the week, aren’t you? I hope you have some amazing plans set up. I happened to finish all my grad school stuff super early this week so I’m going to enjoy lots of relaxation and zero plans.
Anywho, it’s time for another book review!
This time I read Gallant by V.E. Schwab.
I’m a big fan of Schwab’s work after reading a number of her works and loving them. I especially love her Cassidy Blake series, so check out the associated review links below if you’re wanting to read more of her stuff. It’s great MG spooky fun!
The moment I saw the blurb for Gallant I knew I had to read it. It has portal fantasy written all over it, and I can’t get enough! Keep on reading for the review, people!
Associated Review Links
Everything casts a shadow. Even the world we live in. And as with every shadow, there is a place where it must touch. A seam, where the shadow meets its source.
Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.
Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.
Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?
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What a fun portal fantasy novel!
I’ve been a big fan of V.E. Schwab since reading her Cassidy Blake series and Vicious. I expect great things when reading her works, and overall I was happy with this novel.
Olivia Prior lives at a girls’ school. She’s never known her parents, the only memento of their existence a journal from her mother with random scribblings throughout. Her gray, dreary life changes when she receives a letter from an uncle beckoning her to Gallant, a place her mother has warned never to go in her journal. Excited to started a new page in life and discover where she belongs, Olivia is taken to this strange location, not knowing the grim quest she’s about to embark on.
Olivia was a fun MC. I always favor characters with interesting flaws or disabilities, and Olivia’s muteness made her unique. I also liked her wild spirit and how she didn’t just accept the cards dealt to her. She questioned authority at every turn, and I really respected that.
The only quip I can think of with her character is that she doesn’t seem to truly connect with anyone throughout. Given her orphan status, I understand how tough that must be, but wanted to see a bit more connection regardless.
I love the grim ambience of this novel! I instantly got a Tim Burton feel, something of a Coraline vibe, and I was living for it.
The plot was entertaining, but more of a slow burn for me. The first half of the book moved a bit slow for my liking and I wanted more answers provided, but it does speed up in that last half and that’s where this book really shines. I loved the portal fantasy aspect of things and the other side had me on the edge of my seat. The ghouls were also instrumental in keeping the tone grim throughout, so kudos to those creepy shadowy figures!
Overall, this isn’t my favorite book by this author, but I had plenty of fun and this is a great book for teens or anyone who loves portal fantasy. Definitely worth a read!
That’s A Wrap!
Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you read this book? Are there other similar books you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!
Have a great day!