Book Review: Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Publisher: Titan Books
Format: Paperback
Release Date: March 8th, 2022

Rating: 5/5 Stars

I don’t think I’ve come across a Schwab book yet that I haven’t really enjoyed. Not to mention she skirts various genres really well, in this particular instance blending elements of fantasy and horror to give us the Gothic tale of Gallant. Olivia Prior has no family to speak of; all she has in the Merilance School is her mother’s journal, but even that doesn’t explain why she can see ghouls when apparently no one else can.

When a letter arrives, Olivia leaves the school in favour of Gallant, eager to meet her uncle. But when she arrives, her uncle is nowhere to be found, and no one seems to be expecting her. Despite the instance of her cousin that she leaves, Olivia remains, determined to take her place in the home her mother fled.

Schwab is an expert when it comes to atmosphere, infusing her books with settings that completely plunge you into the world. As Olivia creeps through the house, you can almost feel the brush of a draught on your neck. The ghouls add a dimension of creepiness. Olivia is a great protagonist, refusing to back down and determined to discover the truth. The mirroring aspect with the ‘Other Gallant’ is reminiscent of Coraline, and despite the fact the other side of the wall contains a world of decay, there’s something that draws Olivia to the place, deepening the mystery surrounding her and her parents.

This is a solid YA Horror, one that will have readers both on the younger and older sides of YA engrossed in the gothic mystery. Schwab has once again crafted something so easy to slip into and, just like Olivia, it’s hard to resist the pull of Gallant.

Thank you to Titan Books for providing me with a paperback copy of Gallant. Reviews remain my own.

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