Book Reviews

Review: Gallant by V.E. Schwab

As someone who hasn’t finished the A Darker Shade of Magic series, I am, for some reason, always fascinated in Schwab’s latest releases. I promise I’ll try to finish it in 2022! But Gallant is a slow burning suspenseful story about family secrets. It takes a while for it to build up steam, but when it does, the secrets begin to unravel. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


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?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Gallant is a book which, admittedly, has a very slow start. Mostly the first half is devoted to immersing ourselves in Olivia’s confusion. When she arrives at Gallant, there are layers upon layers of cobwebs, dust, and secrets. But once the pieces begin to click, Gallant became everything I thought it would be. If one of your favorite movies, or books, is Coraline, then Gallant should be on your shelves right now! From the beginning, there’s a distinct Gothic vibe, an eerie atmosphere and signature family secrets.

And as Gallant continues, Schwab only leans further into this. For me, reading this felt like when you turn a corner and end up falling in love. There was a sudden click for me – shhh spoilers – and I became obsessed with finishing. Olivia is a character I was instantly drawn to, even if she holds her cards close to her chest. As she blooms, we get a sense of her loneliness and my heart broke for her. Gallant is very much a story about suspense and secrets, but it’s also a story about family, home, and belonging.

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Olivia is plunged into a a house that holds ghosts, ghouls, and gauzy windows. And beneath the ways she has hardened herself to survive, lies a girl who so desperately wants to come home. Over the course of Gallant, not only must she discover whether Gallant is a prison, curse, refuge, or a home, but also she must ask herself if home is a place, feeling, or a choice. Find Gallant on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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