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Gallant  By  cover art

Gallant

By: V.E. Schwab
Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
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Publisher's Summary

AN INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

“A bone-chilling standalone . . . which fuses Shirley Jackson’s gothic horror sensibilities with the warmth and dark whimsy of Neil Gaiman.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Gripping worldbuilding, well-rounded characters, and fantastic horror.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review 

“Unsettling and intriguing.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

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.

#1 New York Times-bestselling author V. E. Schwab weaves a dark and original tale about the place where the world meets its shadow, and the young woman beckoned by both sides. The Secret Garden meets Crimson Peak in this stand-alone novel perfect for fans of Holly Black and Neil Gaiman.

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?

New York Times-bestselling author V. E. Schwab crafts a vivid and lush novel that grapples with the demons that are often locked behind closed doors. An eerie, stand-alone saga about life, death, and the young woman beckoned by both. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Melissa Albert, and Garth Nix will quickly lose themselves in this novel with crossover appeal for all ages.

©2022 Victoria Schwab (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Gallant

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gothic Done Right, in Form and Content!!!

V.E. Schwab is one of my favorite authors, and one whom I actually discovered on Audible as an offering in the “fantasy” genre. It was her utterly original series set in parallel-universe Londons that hooked me, and I’ve long since devoured all her others. Despite the fantastical premises of her work, it is the utterly visceral REALNESS of her characterization that reels you in—to such an extent that you may not even notice what a superlatively masterful technical writer she is. No matter what unique “fantasy” world Schwab sketches for us, her fantastic writing is the real star of the show. In Gallant, her usual sleight-of-hand is front-and-center with a sly play on the conventions of the epistolary novel (one told through letters). While these “letters” do the opposite of clarifying/explaining, it creates a contrast to the richness of all that can be conveyed and understood without language, as the protagonist Olivia literally has no voice. Schwab lets this dichotomy shine throughout this suitably spare work by limiting dialogue/exposition in favor of minimalist, yet lush depictions of sound, light, and shadow. More than the omnipresent “ghouls,” it is this sublime weaving of light, shadow, silence and noise, recognition and loss, that turn the traditional “terrifying double” conventions of the Gothic novel inside out to expose the uncanny heart of all true terror: love, and its identical, inverted double, loss. The narrator was perfect, he nailed the Vincent-Price voice the type of tale requires, while imparting the author’s meaningful silences and sparing, quiet thoughtfulness in just the right places.

In summary: I’ve read/listened to truly countless novels and, once upon a time, as a Professor of Literature, used to teach them, too. It’s rare nowadays that a book can take my breath away, make me cry, and also make me wish I could add this to a syllabus! Do yourself a favor and enjoy this novel without worrying about the five-paper I want to assign you. ;-)

24 people found this helpful

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story was great, bad narrator selection

the story was so much fun and I binged it in one sitting, but who decided to have this middle aged man narrate a book told from the POV of a 14 year old girl? the narration totally takes you out in many places but thankfully the story was enough to hold up despite that

13 people found this helpful

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amazing

as soon as I started this but I just could not put it down. While reading this book I could literally close my eyes and see me every scene taking place in my head as if I was watching a movie. To me those are the absolute best type of Stories. The ones that you can just immerse yourself into the world and understand exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling and why they're making the decisions that they're making. I will recommend this book to everyone I see.

11 people found this helpful

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Lush, masterful creepy writing!

This story is quiet but tense and creepy without the usual “scary story” twists. There is only one monster - and he actually plays a relatively small part. At no time does the primary character act “out of character” as the clues to what will happen are slowly exposed. Mr. Rhind-Tutt has the PERFECT voice for this novel- masterful, a great quiet, deep, creepy but appealing voice. I will listen to this one again, likely next fall.

8 people found this helpful

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A Strong Entry to Schwab’s Canon

Gallant is all about the atmosphere and the prose, which I feel is Schwab’s strength as a writer. If you are looking for heavy plot this book is not it. The narrative is an exploration of how people communicate when they can’t or won’t understand each other. One of my favorite elements Schwab uses in her work is music and art. Gallant has those elements in spades. Schwab also brings us a unique yet still familiar female lead who is a survivor in Olivia. I’m torn if she is my favorite Schwab lead, I think she is currently third for me after Kate, and Addie. The narrative really focuses on Olivia, however I would have liked the other characters motives flushed out more. Matthew and the Mother especially. But I guess a good story always leaves you wanting more. The only other critique I have is some of the plot happens due to characters not communicating and it wasn’t clear to me why. Overall the book is very tight. I listened to it on a 7 hr road trip and really enjoyed it. Schwab really gets the best audio actors. I recommend this book if you are looking for a quick stand alone or are new to Schwab and want to see if she is a good fit for your interest.

6 people found this helpful

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For fans of Coraline & The Haunting of Hill House

Don't let my three stars fool you, I did really enjoy this book while listening to it. The performance was amazing, the narrator was wonderful and the recording had some immersive sound effects at times to add to the atmosphere. Normally not my thing, but the ominous sounds of the pen any time a diary entry is being read were really well done. The story did move a bit slowly for me, which is why I rated it 3 stars. And I must say that while it was enjoyable, it just wasn't very memorable... if that makes sense?

My favorite part was the unique villain, whose power is rather terrifying and centers around the manipulation of shadow and his own bones. Speaking of, there will be a lot of body horror/blood descriptors in this book, so proceed with caution if you're squeamish. The mc is one of my favorite brands of characters: weird little girls with a slightly menacing aura. She's also mute, and I love that the effect this has on her life is explored respectfully (bonus points for the inclusion of sign language in the story).

All that said, I'm really excited to pick up some of V.E Schwab's other books, which I think have slightly more complicated plot lines than this story. This was a perfect introduction to this author for me.

6 people found this helpful

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Awesome story.

This story is very haunting but I’m a good way! Excellent story teller. Its captivating!!

6 people found this helpful

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my heart

what a beautiful book. the narrator did an amazing job. His voice is relaxing.

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing start with a fart of an ending

This book suffers as most great mystery stories do. Way too much set up with promise of pay off, and then lands with a wet plop. The big bad of the story had so many chances to be interesting and compelling, the great mystery at hand over Olivia, her parents, her power, and her lack of voice could have been explored a dozen times over. 3/4ths of this book promise something grand and amazing is coming. That will satisfy the reader. In the end the monster is just a monster and the main character is the same person at the end as they are in the beginning. I was very into this story until the last 2 hours. Wish I never started it.

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Story and Enjoyable Narration

The story is great and has a simple kind of depth to it. I kept having to re-listen to chapters because Narrator was so soothing. I didn't mind because it was enjoyable and worth it. Would definitely recommend.

3 people found this helpful