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The Gracekeepers


3.58  ·  Rating details ·  6,530 ratings  ·  1,262 reviews
For readers of The Night Circus and Station Eleven, a lyrical and absorbing debut set in a world covered by water.

As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still
Hardcover, deckle-edge, 320 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Crown (first published April 23rd 2015)
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Beth It looks like it plays off multiple Scottish and Celtic folklore and myths, including (potentially- I haven't read the book yet so I'm guessing by the…moreIt looks like it plays off multiple Scottish and Celtic folklore and myths, including (potentially- I haven't read the book yet so I'm guessing by the description) The Isle of Pabaidh and The Dracae.(less)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  6,530 ratings  ·  1,262 reviews

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Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Whelp, here is one of 3 magical/fantasy/realism circus-type books I've read in the past 3 months completely accidentally coincidentally. I didn't know this genre was so strong.

I picked up this book in Edinburgh while on vacation because the cover is lovely. In England. Here in the US it's kind of poopy and looks like a tampon commercial. But the book is very nice and fairy-tale-ish, kind of "Water for Chocolate" meets a seafaring fantasy world. There are a few women characters who are really gre
Charlotte May
This is a truly beautiful and magical novel.

A flooded world, where few islands remain, and those who inhabit the land are landlockers. Everyone else lives on boats and are known as damplings.

North is a dampling she works as the bear-girl on a circus boat known as The Excalibur. The circus folk are the only family she has ever known, and she would never want to leave. However, she is harbouring a secret - a secret that might destroy the life she has built.

Callanish is a Gracekeeper. She arranges
Sean Barrs
Kirsty Logan has such a lovely way with words. Take this description of an apple:

The apple was a perfect sphere, green speckled with red, shiny as a bird’s eye. Avalon pulled a silver knife from her dress pocket and cut the apple’s softening flesh into quarters, exposing the pips tenderly. Its scent exploded in the air: sweetly souring, past its best but still with a sheen of juice.

It made me go and eat an apple. Sadly it wasn’t quite as tantalizing as the description. I will say that without t
Liz Barnsley
Oh not sure where to begin with this one – you know sometimes you read a book that just touches your heart for reasons you can’t really put into words – well “The Gracekeepers” is just such a novel, beautifully written, highly compelling with such wonderful characters and setting that you just sink into it and leave the real world behind.

Where you will find yourself is within a post apocalyptic setting where most of the earth is covered with water, small pieces of land dotted around. The inhabit
It was not okay; it gets two stars because it was readable in a messy soap opera kind of way.

Okay, full review:

I don't think I've ever read such a mess of a story. And I've read some convoluted messes.
So why does the Gracekeepers gets the first place in "Most Convoluted Story" award?

Well... imagine a vaguely distopyan setting in which the Planet has suffered the full consequences of global warming: The level of water has risen, leaving most of Earth (well, I'm guessing here... maybe it's so
Holly Dunn
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
If you liked The Night Circus or Station Eleven then you’ll probably like this. I thought that it was better than both of those novels. It’s beautifully written and has the most eeirly evocative landscape where the earth has been flooded and all that’s left are a few islands. You’ve got people who live on the islands, called the Landlockers, and those who live on boats on the sea, called Damplings. It’s about two women, one on land, one on the sea. It’s about bodily autonomy and a woman’s right ...more
Helene Jeppesen
This book transports you to another world where everything is upside down. Here, you live on water or on small islands. Those who live on water would never want to live on land, and vice versa. The circus that we follow is based on water, and it floats around to the islands in order to give performances. Furthermore, we follow the story of an islander who works as a Rester.
Everything is magical in this story, and it appeals very much to your imagination. I liked this world building, because it
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I went into The Gracekeepers very carefully. From what I’d heard, it sounded a lot like the kind of literary magical realism which would require an active engagement of the reader’s imagination in order to fill in the gaps, and books like this with their haunting, dreamlike style can either be a huge hit with me or it can fall flat. After completing novel, I think my feelings hover somewhere in between. Overall I enjoyed
As I said when I first sampled The Gracekeepers last September, I feared, at first, that it wasn't for me - that the fantastical premise was too whimsical for my tastes and that it was in danger of being too twee. However, the first few chapters really surprised me. I was drawn straight into its world and wanted to read on; I found the characters easy to care about, and the story gave me the same cosy, magical feeling as Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus. (Unlike many readers, I enjoyed that b ...more
“We're all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.”

----Rudyard Kipling

Kirsty Logan, a British author, pens her new novel, The Gracekeepers which is about two individuals living, on the realm by the edge of the sea, with a hope that someday they would be able to put their feet on the mainland.


As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, sending the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she h
Logan’s inventive debut novel imagines a circus traveling through a flooded future world. Humanity is divided into two races, landlockers and damplings. Fear and prejudice distance these groups but the novel imagines them drawn together through a meeting between two young women, Callanish and North. Callanish, a gracekeeper, performs resting ceremonies for the dead with the help of graces, totem birds that symbolize grief. North, part of the Circus Excalibur, performs a funeral-and-resurrection ...more
One of the most beautiful and interesting story worlds I've ever encountered! Unlike other reviewers, I didn't mind the relatively slow-paced plot at all and thought it fit really well into the quiet and magical atmosphere of the story. A new favourite for sure! ...more
Cinzia DuBois
May 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Book analysis and author interview in video (: ...more
Living in a world where the oceans had taken over the land; where only pockets of small islands dotted the horizon, were two types of people. The people who lived on land (landlockers) and those who dwelt on the sea (damplings). The damplings we learn about in The Gracekeepers lived on the Excalibur; a crew of circus performers who travelled from island to island, performing and entertaining the landlockers so they could eat. North was a member of the circus, a bear-girl; her beloved bear perfor ...more
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
In her debut novel, Kirsty Logan has created an unusual, ethereal, almost magical watery world where the seas have risen to flood the cities and there are only pockets of land left to live on. Only the privileged few live on the land (the landlockers) and the others (known as damplings) must survive on the sea in boats, constantly travelling from island to island offering entertainment or services in exchange for food.

Against this background we meet North, member of a travelling circus where she
Katie Lumsden
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful and atmospheric novel - the writing is so graceful and the characters well developed. I love North and Callandish and the way their relationship develops.
Ellen Gail
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: You. Yes, you. Hey! Don't ignore me. You heard me. Read it.
Shelves: so-pretty, arc, underrated

Whaaaaaat was this awesomeness? I loved it. Loved it loved it loved it. 500 Jean-Ralphios, 18 pounds of glitter, and 60 ice cream sandwiches worth of stars!

An Incoherent Jumble of Reasons Why Kristy Logan's The Gracekeepers is the Bomb


No, seriously it was perfection. I have no complaints, and I'm a very complainy person. The writing, the characters, and the uber-original story were all just so damn good. Oh god, the deliciously dreamy writing! [clutches heart!] It was like eating an ice cream
Steffi ~mereadingbooks~
I am not going to finish this. I've read 30% of the book and I'm simply not willing to spend more of my time on this. Don't get me wrong, the writing is beautiful and the setting is fantastic. It is kind of dystopian, however very fairy tale like, there is a circus! It's the fairy tale version of Waterworld! But with depth! And still it doesn't grab me...

I can't really put my finger on what it is but this book is doing nothing for me. Maybe it is the obvious kind of describing things that puts m
Sonja Arlow
3.5 stars

After most of the land on Earth is covered by water, society splits into those who own land on the remaining archipelagos and those who live at sea, known as damplings. This is a world rich with strangeness and its own rituals.

Callanish, is a "grace keeper," tasked to lay the dead to rest on behalf of the grieving family.

I found the graceyard setting oddly beautiful. When the dead are put in their final resting place, a caged bird is placed above water to mark the water grave. When th
Maja Ingrid
First, a short rant. I've been eyeing this book for YEARS because of the stunning cover but since the hardcover version I wanted was out of print, it took some years before I got it from Amazon marketplace a couple of years ago. Sadly there was no book in mint condition available at the time and mine had a few damages. One being a mark from a sticker the previous owner had removed. A second being water damage to the dust jacket and binding of the book, which likely came from the way it was shipp ...more
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-stars
Originally posted on:


That’s what I feel about this book. I had such high hopes. I love reading about possible futures for the Earth and I love seeing an author’s view of how humanity will adapt. This book was no exception. The idea of an Earth almost completely covered in water is intriguing. Unfortunately, that’s about the only thing that intrigued me.

The book is told from multiple viewpoints and is mostly about North and the group of circus performers that she travels with. As
Abbie | ab_reads
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I really wanted to love The Gracekeepers more than I did, but something that usually works for me in a book I thought didn’t work so well with this one and my reading experience was hampered a bit
The story is told from different perspectives: at the beginning it seemed like it was going to be the two main female characters, makes sense, I hugely enjoyed both of their chapters all the way through! But then more perspectives start creeping in, at first I thought okay, cool, these charact
Renee Godding
5 out of 5 stars

I loved this so much I don’t even know how to briefly explain...

Review to come.
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-reads
Wow oh wow oh wow!

This was such a beautifully woven tale, so atmospheric, and engaging. For a debut author this was excellent! Logan has a way with words and descriptions that melt you into her world. A world where a floating circus crashes onto an island inhabited by a lonesome girl. With any circus comes its oddities; an assortment of characters that are flawed and looking for acceptance and a place to call home.

Poetic, Gorgeous, and just Lovely.

Maybe this book isn't for everyone, but if you
Listened 5/15/15 -5/30/15
4 Stars - Highly Recommended in audio; an intriguing watery apocalypse with a floating circus, you guys!
Length: Approx 11 hours
Publisher: Random House Audio
Narrator: Katy Townsend
Released: May 2015

The premise of Kirsty Logan's debut novel The Gracekeepers - a post apocalyptic world where the sea has swallowed most of the land - immediately brought to mind the 1996 Kevin Costner film Waterworld. (Oh come on, don't tell me your mind didn't go there! But also, don't worry,
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didnt-finish
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's the fault of "The Night Circus". I'm really not a fan of books about circuses or plays, but then I think about "The Night Circus", which I loved, and I think, "just give this book a chance, what if it's not like you fear it will be but instead a lovely surprise?" Sadly, so far, this has never happened. I'll probably keep giving it a try anyway.

The setting of this world is really interesting. It's a water world. L
Eleanor (bookishcourtier)
3.5 stars

Look, its been a while since I read this book, and I guess the fact that I don't really remember all that much about it says it all. It was a really nice book, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't really memorable, and it was slightly dull in places. The cover is gorgeous, though, and underneath the dust jacket there are waves and stars and stuff and its really pretty. However, I am not here to review the cover, and this review may be lacking in some substance because I don't have much to

The Gracekeepers follows multiple characters but at the heart of the story we have Callanish and North. North is a Dampling, an orphan born into a circus, and Callanish is a Landlocker, a gracekeeper resting atop graves. One born to the sea, one born bound to the land. These are both enchanting women who are just growing into their own bodies, searching for a life which they can claim as theirs. Without a doubt, of all the characters given, Callanish and North are the most admirable aspects of t
Mel González
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
“Many ways to fly, but only one way to fall.”

Buddy read this with Katie
If there's one word I could use to describe this book it would be atmospheric. The writing was gorgeous and even though I left with a lot of questions unanswered and even though the author did a disservice to my favourite character, I enjoyed reading it a lot. It really has the capacity to transport you to this world and interest you in the characters and their adventures. The truth is that I was curious about th
Laura Lam
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
North is the bear girl in the circus that travels the world on the boat Excalibur. Callanish is a girl who has self-exiled herself to work as a gracekeeper, a type of undertaker, in the middle of the ocean.

What happens when they meet?

It's a book of circuses, sea brine and the sea breeze, and whispered secrets. If you liked Pantomime, you might like this for it has a circus and some exploration of gender and sexuality, but it's set in a literary Waterworld type of setting. It's fantasy but looks
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Kirsty Logan is a professional daydreamer. She is the author of two novels, The Gloaming and The Gracekeepers, and two story collections, A Portable Shelter and The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales. Her fifth book, Things We Say in the Dark, will be published on Halloween 2019.

Kirsty lives in Glasgow with her wife and their rescue dog. She has tattooed toes.

Other books in the series

Gracekeepers (2 books)
  • The Gloaming

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