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.
I really liked Olivia as our main protagonist. She has a bit of a petty streak that I really appreciated from her, it definitely made her more of a realistic character to me. She is very relatable in her yearning to belong and how excited she was at the prospect of being a part of a family even though her mother warned her about going to Gallant.
I kind of wish this was a dual perspective with Matthew. I think seeing how his mind comprehends Gallant and the duty the Priors have held and how it has crippled their family. To see how the whispers have driven him nearly to death and why he was so adamant in sending Olive away when she first arrived. I think we don’t get enough interaction between the two of them and the ones we do get were so poignant and touching.
I love a haunted house setting and this book really brought that spooky atmosphere for me. The ghouls were a great addition to the plot and really cemented the history of this estate and how much this family has sacrificed for the greater good. I really enjoyed the contrast between the two worlds and how Olivia’s magic changed with the different settings.
I liked the overall concept of Gallant and what is expected being a Prior. Learning how Olivia was lured back and how she unintentionally followed in her mother’s footsteps going across the wall was fascinating and compelling. I was very much invested in the storyline and wanted to know how everything was going to come together in the end. I was very happy with how this wrapped up and the fact that it wasn’t the fairy-tale ending I was expecting made it even more satisfying to me.
⭐️4/5 This was fantastic!