I know the warmer weather has only started to begin, but that doesn't stop me from craving spooky reads. One that I've been looking forward to all year was Gallant by V.E. Schwab, and I'm happy to report it more than delivered!
|Pub Date: 3-1-22|
YA - Fantasy
When Olivia was a child, she was left on the stoop of the Merilance School for girls with only a faded journal to remember her mother. Olivia is shunned by the other girls and disregarded by the school matrons because she can't speak, so she seeks solace within the journal and her mother's drawings and writings. Olivia has always wondered what happened to her mother, but all she knows is that as the journal progresses, her mother's writing gets more and more unhinged-- warning her to stay away from a place called Gallant. But when Olivia receives a letter calling her home to that very place, she has no choice but to go.
Once Olivia arrives at Gallant, she can tell it's hiding something within its stone walls. Though the house is large, its only inhabitants are two workers, her hostile cousin Matthew, who constantly tries to make Olivia leave, and the ghouls that haunt the halls. Olivia is determined to find out what's going on, and despite being warned about the wall in their garden, she slips past it and finds herself facing another Gallant. Only this one is crumbling, and Death roams the halls. Olivia soon learns she has ties to this shadowy place, and that only she can protect her world and home from the Master of the House.
I've always found that Schwab has a knack for writing quiet, captivating stories that draw you in from the first page, and this was no exception. The atmosphere in her stories is always immaculate. I was gripped by the world she created and with Olivia. I loved how strong she was and how she never let herself be silenced even though she couldn't speak. I liked how she was of two worlds which gave her these strange powers. From reading other books by Schwab, I went into this expecting it to focus more on characters rather than plot, so I wasn't too surprised that nothing much happened in this. The action takes a while to play out and then is over quite quickly, but I didn't mind so much. If you like a story with a Gothic, haunting feel, I'd highly recommend this one.