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 readers 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. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Melissa Albert, and Garth Nix will quickly lose themselves in this novel with crossover appeal for all ages.
V. E. Schwab is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, ranging from middle grade to teen to adult. Her books have garnered critical acclaim and been featured in the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, the Washington Post, and NPR; have been translated into more than a dozen languages; and been optioned for television and film. Schwab, an avid traveler, received her MFA from the University of Edinburgh, where her thesis was about the presence of monsters in medieval art. She lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
— Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times–bestselling author
“Seeking a place to call home, Olivia uncovers long-buried secrets after arriving at Gallant. . . . Olivia unravels the ominous secrets of both her family and the house, where ghouls lurk around every corner and the dilapidated garden gate calls to her. The evolving relationships between Olivia and her found family shine, and themes of freedom, the self, and belonging are well depicted. . . . The gripping writing and effective incorporation of horror elements, including haunting, inky artwork, are satisfyingly spine-tingling."
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)