Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: 2022
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Bought Copy
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?
While I love some more than others, I've yet to read a V.E. Schwab book I have not enjoyed, and Gallant is no exception to that. Schwab's prose is an atmospheric delight as always, and I loved the premise behind the story with its echoes of Crimson Peak. The only slight disappointment for me was the length, as I would have liked longer to get to know the characters and the world. I felt there was room to expand things further. But even so, I devoured this book in two nights and got sucked into the world of the story. The presentation, too, was great, with plenty of gorgeous illustrations throughout. I could see this story working well on the screen, probably directed by Guillermo del Toro. If you like dark-tinged fantasy, then it's certainly worth a read. It gets 4.5 stars from me, and I'll round up to a five, rather than down to a four.