Thank you, Lydia, and Titan Books, for sending me an ARC of Gallant by V. E. Schwab for free in exchange for an honest review. Spoilers
Once again it is creepy how coordinated Lauren, and I are with books when we both got the email about requesting this title it was a race to see who replied first. Gallant was one of them books I had been keeping an eye on since I read the synopsis.
Victoria’s writing is extremely illustrative and expressive, making this another captivating book from her. I have a confession I have read a fair few of Victoria’s books I just haven’t review them please forgive me. The book is brimming with atmosphere and filled with Victoria’s trademark writing where every word has been precisely chosen, and every turn of phrase conjures up images. Once again while reading Victoria’s work I found it almost effortless to sympathise with Olivia’s longing to connect with and learn more about her family and her roots. I think it’s a feeling we all know at some point in our lives either as teenagers or young adults.
Gallant is atmospheric gothic tale that follows Olivia Prior a young girl living at Merilance School for Girls. Olivia is mute and, in my opinion, Victoria does an exceptional job finding ways for her to express herself without uttering a single word. Olivia was a lovable protagonist who I desperately wanted to hug and to try help end her loneliness. Let alone the added depth of her longing to find a home. I have got you Olivia.
After being invited out of the blue by a mystery relative, Olivia moves from her orphanage to Gallant the Prior family estate. As with most gothic and slightly spooky tales once Olivia arrives, she learns this is anything but a normal household. I really enjoyed the shadowy house with ghosts materialising around corners, as well as the dark other side. Olivia has lived in a quiet world, conversing with ghoul like creatures with nods and gestures is both a blessing and a curse. Soon Olivia finds herself drawn into a world of secrets and magic.
The ending is bittersweet; I loved it and loathed it in equal measure, I am grateful that Olivia’s mutism wasn’t magically cured by the end of the book, like it probably would have in the hands of a different author. There is a mystery at the centre of this book that accomplishes a satisfyingly dark conclusion.
This book is a must read for the lovers of gothic tales and anyone looking to start reading Victoria Schwab’s books.