arc review | gallant – v.e. schwab

Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Published March 1st 2022 by Greenwillow Books
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Mystery, Horror
Rep: mute MC


Rating: 4 out of 5.


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?


Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

trigger and content warnings:

I don’t know why it took me ages to pick up Gallant. It was nothing that I expected and everything that I wanted. At Merilance School for Independent Girls, Olivia is known as the ghost of Merilance. Since she doesn’t pick, the other girls started bullying her. The only thing in her possession that alluded to her biological mother is the diary. Full of sentences, warnings, and contexts that Olivia didn’t understand. Although she has wanted to leave this godforsaken place, Olivia never dared to. Until she received a letter from her uncle. 

“Home is a choice.” 

Upon reaching the house, Olivia wasn’t very welcome. Her cousin Matthew was like a child throwing a tantrum, wanting to send Olivia immediately. The vague mentioning of bloodlines, Gallant, and being the last one confused her. However, for someone who has never been to the house before, the house seemed to welcome Olivia. Oh! Something about Olivia is that she can see ghouls. Not only were there some at the school but also at this home. At the house, the truth behind her mother’s disappearance or possibly death will be uncovered.

“Safe does not mean happy, does not mean well, does not mean kind.” 

Gallant feels sentient. The aliveness added another layer of spookiness to the setting. In Gallant, ghouls roamed around the house, a master determined to find all the pieces to his puzzle, a reflection of a house Olivia knew but not really. 

Overall, it was pretty interesting! I adore V.E. Schwab’s writing so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed reading Gallant. As Olivia is mute, she communicated through sign language and her art. Since she never had a family, Olivia wanted to truly belong. While her cousin immediately wanted to chase her away giving no reasonings, Olivia wondered if she could be a Prior. The magic within the house, the story behind her lineage, and the truth behind her parentage are all things Olivia wanted to know. Soon, she discovers a house that is like hers but not really.


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