“Will hook readers with its gripping worldbuilding, well-rounded characters, and fantastic horror.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Evocative prose, eerie b&w artwork by Šumberac, and superbly rendered characters elevate this affective, bone-chilling standalone from Schwab, which fuses Shirley Jackson’s gothic horror sensibilities with the warmth and dark whimsy of Neil Gaiman.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“This story strikes just the right balance between menace and melancholy, and the undercurrent of grief running beneath the suspense and horror brings emotional nuance and deep sympathy for each. This will be a surefire hit with fans of Frances Hardinge, or any reader looking for a dark read on a stormy night.” -Bulletin for Center of Children’s Books
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?