When I picked this up at the library, it was on a whim. I’ve heard of VE Schwab, but I’ve never read her work, so I thought that I’d give this one a try. I didn’t realize that this story happens from a YA point of view (this book wasn’t shelved YA…) so I was a little put off by it when I started reading, but Schwab writes Olivia’s character so well that it didn’t matter. Olivia, our protagonist, was much older than her years and she was a wonderful character who told a very interesting tale without ever actually speaking. Yep, that’s right, Olivia is mute and doesn’t say a single word the whole book. She speaks in other ways, which made her all the more interesting.
Olivia grows up in an orphanage, where she’s ostracized by the other girls, but she holds her own and finds her own mischief. Out of the blue, a letter arrives that states she has a family and she’s whisked away to her real home. But things aren’t what they seem at Gallant, her family estate, and the dangers she faces are very real, if not completely fantastical and bizarre.
I thought the story was interesting and the elements Schwab described were unique in some ways (like the mouse), but I felt that it drew too much from other work. Olivia was interesting but we didn’t see enough of other characters for me to decide how much I liked them, the exception being Matthew, who showed some character growth that made a little sense.
The ending to this story was rushed. I felt like Schwab got 3/4 the way in and then lost interests and quickly finished. It really wrapped up in the last 12% of the book when so much more could have been told, and then the epilogue was so open ended and unfulfilling. I hope she writes a sequel to give us an actual ending.
That all said, the atmosphere in this book was so amazing. I loved the detailed descriptions, the fantasy elements, the ghoulish moments, and the dark, gothic feel. Schwab is a master writing descriptive scenery.
I gave this book 4 out of 5. For the atmosphere alone, I’ll read this again in the future.
If you’d like to read more about Gallant by VE Schwab, check it out on Goodreads.
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One response to “Book Review – Gallant”
[…] What did you recently finish reading?This week, I finished Gallant by V.E. Schwab. I thought this one was pretty good. I liked the gothic feel of it, the MC was interesting and little unusual. I felt that the ending could have been better. I gave it 4 out of 5 for my review, and I recommend checking it out. Check out my review of Gallant here.. […]