Gallant by V.E. Schwab
Page count: 334
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication date: March 1, 2022
Genres: Fantasy, horror???
Age group: YA
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?
Nothing pains me more than sticking a 3-star rating on this book. I love V.E. Schwab’s books and I know how important this book in particular was to her personal development, but it really wasn’t all I was hoping for. There just didn’t seem to be any kind of plot, which I normally don’t mind so long as I like the characters. For the first time in a long while, I didn’t feel any connection to the characters in a V.E. Schwab book. The whole story was just a little off to me, which is a huge bummer.
It’s really abnormal for me not to fall for Schwab’s characters, but Gallant was just missing that little spark of something. It might hurt that the only character we really got to learn about was Olivia, as all the side characters were almost completely missing from the story. Honestly, I could only tell you two or three important facts about each of them. Olivia was a decent character, but really uncompelling for some reason.
I really enjoyed that we had a portrayal of a mute character. You don’t see much of that in stories, probably because it’s really hard to write without dialogue. And to be honest, I did notice the complete lack of dialogue. If the side characters were a little bit more in focus maybe their conversations would have fixed it a little, but sometimes the text just felt very dense without any dialogue to break it up. It was also a little harder to understand Olivia’s character without any verbal character interactions.
Gallant was supposedly going to be on the border of fantasy and horror, but I think that if V.E. Schwab wanted to write a horror book she would write a horror book. And it would be terrifying and I wouldn’t be able to sleep for weeks. So I don’t think she was trying to write a scary book here, it’s just lighter on the fantasy elements.
The one thing that I can always rely on in a V.E. Schwab book is her absolutely stunning writing style. It has never let me down and it never will. Her writing is absolutely glorious and her use of symbols throughout the novel is magnificent.
While Gallant wasn’t everything I hoped, it still had some redeeming elements. It was a solid three-star, but I still can’t wait to read whatever V.E. Schwab writes next!
Have you read Gallant or any of V.E. Schwab’s other books? What did you think of them, which one was your favorite?