Sixteen-year-old Olivia Prior is missing three things: a mother, a father, and a voice. Her mother vanished all at once, and her father by degrees, and her voice was a thing she never had to start with.
She grew up at Merilance School for Girls. Now, nearing the end of her time there, Olivia receives a letter from an uncle she’s never met, her father’s older brother, summoning her to his estate, a place called Gallant. But when she arrives, she discovers that the letter she received was several years old. Her uncle is dead. The estate is empty, save for the servants. Olivia is permitted to remain, but must follow two rules: don’t go out after dusk, and always stay on the right side of a wall that runs along the estate’s western edge.
Beyond it is another realm, ancient and magical, which calls to Olivia through her blood…
Thank you so much to Titan for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As I’m sure many of you know, Addie Larue is my favourite book ever and I was so excited and honoured to receive a proof copy of this book! I was a little hesitant going into this one as the next book after Addie Larue, but I’ve read a few Schwab books since and I’ve definitely enjoyed them all for different reasons.
Schwab does an incredible job of writing such different plots but including the same feel and atmosphere in the writing itself. I can always feel when I’m reading a Schwab book, if that makes sense. Gallant is a YA story following Olivia, an orphan who only has a journal left of her mother. She then receives a letter from her uncle, inviting her to his estate, Gallant. When she arrives, she finds her uncle has died and the house is occupied by her cousin and the servants of the house. She remains at the estate, but is warned not cross the wall on the outskirts of the estate.
This book is kind of a mystery, kind of a horror, kind of a paranormal. It is a beautiful mixture of genres and I loved the atmosphere. It creeped me out in ways that I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as I was reading it, and I definitely had chills. It also reads kind of like a fairytale, and was reminiscent of The Secret Garden with darker undertones.
This book was very character driven and has a slow plot, but I still found it very quick and easy to read. It’s full of illustrations and extracts from Olivia’s mother’s journal, which I loved and were so beautifully complimentary to the story.
I really loved this book and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read it, and my only complaint is I wanted more. This book just didn’t feel long enough to me in places, and I wanted more detail, more emotional connection to the characters and more of the book overall. Although I don’t think anything will beat Addie Larue, or will be difficult to beat, I did still really enjoy this one.
4.5 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽