If you’re looking for a hauntingly beautiful and poetic story this one is for you. It’s a mystery wrapped up in a series of journal entries and new discoveries made by our main character, Olivia.
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?
This was a slow start for me, but I cared so much about the story and the characters I couldn’t stop reading. Olivia was an easy character to feel for, her story is tragic but her determination is powerful.
As a person who loves journaling, I was really intrigued by the mysterious journal entires scattered throughout. The look into her mother’s journal was probably my favorite part! It was like trying to solve a puzzle.
I will say this book is frightening! You have your fair share of super creepy ghosts and monsters in this story and V.E. Schwab’s writing brings them to life in a terrifying way. I was completely creeped out and curious at the same time.
The ending was poetic. There is no other way to describe it. I don’t cry when reading books, but this ending had me drowning in my feels. I gave this book 5 stars! It’s a little slow but oh so beautiful.