Book Review | Gallant by V. E. Schwab

Gallant by V. E. Schwab is a quietly eerie, beautifully written standalone book that I bought on a whim after reading someone’s brief yet enthusiastic endorsement of it on Twitter. At only 307 pages, this twisted fairytale is a short but gripping read. Olivia is a mute fourteen-year-old orphan residing at Merilance School for Girls. At night she reads her mother’s journal, trying to decipher the black ink watercolour drawings and the ramblings of a woman apparently slipping into madness. As she reads, there is a ghoul that sits on her bed. Watching, yet unable to talk or touch her. Olivia regularly sees the dead.

When she receives a letter from an uncle she never knew existed summoning her to his estate, Gallant, it’s the first time she’s ever felt wanted. However, on arrival, the housekeeper informs her that her uncle is dead. She is years too late and becomes an unwelcome guest instructed to do two things: never leave the house after dusk and never go behind the crumbling wall beyond the grounds.

The gothic aesthetic of Gallant reminds me of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and the story itself of the film Stardust. It’s a grim but wonderful combination of the two; full of secrets, haunting imagery and chilling atmosphere. The book is written from Olivia’s perspective, however, it also contains journal entries, drawings, and mysterious entries from an unknown being.

Gallant is not a horror yet it’s full of death, ghosts and shadows. It’s a short read, different from anything I’ve read before. I highly recommend you spend an evening losing yourself in this creepy tale.

Gallant by V. E. Schwab is available HERE. (Affiliate Link)