Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Gracekeepers #1

The Gracekeepers

Rate this book
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 haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland ("landlockers") and those who float on the sea ("damplings"), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives - offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.

Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published April 23, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Kirsty Logan

74 books1,269 followers
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.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,275 (18%)
4 stars
2,491 (35%)
3 stars
2,323 (33%)
2 stars
719 (10%)
1 star
163 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,309 reviews
Profile Image for Felicia.
Author 28 books128k followers
August 2, 2015
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 great. Just the names of characters alone, Avalon and Callenish, are yummy enough to make the book worth reading. There's a sort of fatalistic Celtic air about the whole thing I enjoyed.

If you want to read a very nice book about sea-circus gypsies that is kind of depressing and uplifting and really quite artistic all at the same time, this is a good pick! The Night Circus fans would like this (review coming for that too.)
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
683 reviews1,050 followers
January 28, 2019
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 mourning ceremonies for people with loved ones who have died. She lives alone on her island, as a punishment for something she did long ago.

Kirsty Logan's writing is so lyrical, I was swept away in this magical world. We see how Callanish and North meet for the first time, and then how they are constantly drawn together.

I loved all the different characters, particularly from the circus. They were all so imaginative and sometimes quite creepy (mainly the clowns and the glamours). It was just a completely immersive world, and I loved spending time in it.

Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,109 reviews44.3k followers
March 9, 2016
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 the use of such eloquent prose this novel wouldn’t have been half as good. The language really helped to capture the image of a magical, and mysterious, floating circus on a world that was almost entirely at sea.

A wonderful setting

Indeed, the earth has flooded and only small isolated pockets of land remain. The protagonist of this novel is called North; she is a bear girl, which means she performs in the circus with her trusted companion who is a bear. However, their relationship was not emphasised nowhere near enough through the novel, and at some points the bear felt like a piece of furniture in the circus. The circus, called Excalibur, also stages classic acts such as clowns and acrobatics. If they didn’t provide such excellent entertainment then they wouldn’t eat as the landowners exchange food for entertainment. They are literally performing to survive.

After a successful performance a storm hits them at high seas. One of their valued members dies; thus, the circus seeks the help of a Gracekeeper. Gracekeepers put people to rest after they have dies; they perform a service then sink the body to the bottom of the ocean. Callinish is one such keeper and she is drawn to North. When the two meet they instantly feel like family as they belong together. This became the plot driver for the book and gave it a solid direction, as the two characters had to come back together. Indeed, when the two parted it was evident that the novel would end with them re-joining.

A tragically weak ending

In spite of the wonderful prose, and the exciting world the author has devised the ending, I felt, was very weak. A very, very, tragic event occurs at the end of the book; it should have affected the protagonist deeply, but it didn’t really. I think I was more bothered by it. She should have been on her knees weeping. Instead there is a brief moment of sadness and of acceptance. This seemed inconsistent with the character as she should have been grief stricken. She lost something very valuable and her reaction was nowhere near strong enough. This paragraph changed my entire perception of the novel because up to that point I was ready to give it four stars. Moreover, I do think that certain side characters needed more closure as some of their story arcs were left too open.

Overall though, I did enjoy this novel. The author has come with a very original idea which, when combined with her writing style, came across as quite captivating. This is only her first novel and it shows. It was almost brilliant, but not quite. Despite the problems it had it was still very good, so I will read any future novels she may write. If the ending was stronger, then my rating would be much higher.

So I gave this a reasonable- 3 Stars
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,405 reviews989 followers
April 22, 2015
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 inhabitants are divided into two groups – those who live on the sea (Damplings) and those that live on the land (Landlockers). Through the experiences of North and Callanish and a few others this world comes to life – these two are about to be brought together unexpectedly and with enigmatic consequences.

I truly adored this story from the moment I picked it up. The prose is so gorgeous that you can’t help but savour every word. The world building is absolutely amazing – the author painting a vivid and colourful picture of life on the water and on the land, allowing her characters to live and breathe and tell the tale. The two women, North and Callanish are simply magnificent, so utterly engaging and completely absorbing that you kind of inhale them in and feel every moment with them.

The tale itself is magical and I won’t give anything away – this is old school storytelling at its very best, an elegant mixture of characterisation and circumstance that come together to create a simply marvellous read that will stay with you long after you have turned the last page.

A book for the soul – certainly a book for my soul, I am bereft now I have left it behind and this is one I will return to again and again. Because it feels like there will be something new to discover each time.

Highly Recommended. No way on earth this is not going to be in my Top 10 for the year.

Happy Reading Folks!
Profile Image for Susana.
987 reviews241 followers
October 23, 2016
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 some alien planet instead -_-) fully submerged.

The world is divided between landlockers (people who own land) and damplings (people who live on the sea), and this is where the concept starts falling apart due to its simplicity.
We are told that food is scarce... okay, that makes sense since there's less arable land available, but then we read that the people who live on land don't want anything "to do" with fish...
You're hungry, there's food available, but "hey" I am going to be picky about it... because water is dirty, and people who live in the water are dirty. This is the explanation that is given. Less due to pollution and more due to superstitions.

Regarding Water... the oceans have risen, so what has happened to potable water sources?
Because, logically, (in this setting) that would mean almost no potable water. Strangely that is never mentioned.
Of course when you think that about half ( is it half? What is the percentage? We are never told) of the population that lives on boats, one has to wonder about the quality of the thing.
(I have to mention that the boat Excalibur, with the exception of soldier ships, never ever crosses path with other ships. No boat's jammings, ever. Amazing.)

If you don't hold land, you're seen as less. That is what North is. She is a dampling and she lives and works on an circus.
Enters the Night Circus environment...not. This doesn't have anything to do with that book. Most especially it doesn't have anything to do with the images that Erin Morgenstern created.

LGBT romance
Well, in fact there isn't an actual romance between our Gracekeeper and North, the girl that lives in the circus. More like, they're instantly smitten when they do met ( there's hand holding and secrets sharing, because otherwise it would just take too bloody long), but they'll eventually meet again in the end of the book because in the meantime we'll have to be bored out of our minds by pov's of almost every single character in the book.

But what is a Gracekeeper, you ask?
Well, a grace keeper is someone who takes care of the graces.
And here, graces are birds.
Basically the girl, woman ( we have no idea of her age, or for how long she has been a Gracekeeper!) kills a lot of birds, when she places then in cages, like tombstones to mark where has placed some dead person to rest. And now as I think about it, I am left wondering how the cages are kept above water. -_- Are there poles? Do they have little inflatable vests?

Technicalities: they are a bitch.

Because you know, reusable cages and all that, so the birds die of the elements and starvation. Oh, and there was this little bit of information as if the birds were engineered to last a certain amount of time ( the time period for mourning of that person), but later on there's nothing else to clarify what type of society these people live in.
Stone age meets X-man?

As for our Grace Keeper, Callanish ( there's another one, but he's a drunk, and he only appears for a few pages, so who cares about the guy?), well, when the story starts, I was left with the impression that she had committed some crime, and that was her punishment: being a Mortician for dampling people. But later on, we are told that she choose that life. So, I guess anyone can volunteer?
*not Katniss. Katniss would never be such an idiot.*

Talking about Morticians and other technicalities...I guess Callanish has a lot of strength to dump a lot of dead bodies in the ocean, right? Oh, and then there's the fact that THAT is done in the most shallow part of the ocean... because IT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO F***G LOGIC!

Well, there's Callanish the gracekeeper, with the mysterious past.

North a girl who lives on the circus Excalibur with her bear, with whom she performs. The bear doesn't have a name. He's her best friend, but apparently it never crossed North's mind to give him a name. ( Here I was left thinking about Lyra from Pullman's trilogy and the relationship she had with her soul animal)

There's the ringmaster (aka Arthur), the owner of the circus, who is married to Avalon ( a crazy bitch determined to incarnate all the crazy bitches from the Arthurian Legends?) his second wife, and there's also a son (Yeah, I don't care about his name) from a previous relationship. The son, who is a boring as soaked bread, has a bit of Mordred in him, so you know what this means...
As for the other characters, like the clowns, they are mostly used by the author to briefly approach the issue of gender bending. And I say briefly, because the way it was dealt (poorly), reminded me those last episodes of Sailor Moon when some characters appear leaving us wondering if they were guys or women.

What else?
Oh, there's women being impregnated by something with scales, but that's okay, because we "should" see that as a form of integration.
How to live both on land and on the sea?
Well, that's easy: just go lie by some shore, and some dude/scaly thing will appear and "you'll" be ecstatic! See? Who cares about consent?
Of course there's still some bit of xenophoby lying around, so lets say that babies born with ebbed toes and hands are usually killed on sight.

As for the plot?
Well, as you can see there isn't one. People meet and then we get their pov's about relationships or other stuff.
The part that takes place in the circus setting, feels like a never ending soap opera.
Avalon hates North because she's a jealous nuts, and that's it.

Then there's crazy religious people. Both on land as on the sea because EQUALITY.
Sex traded as a bargain coin. Because, why not?
And people having their life dream destroyed because "he" wouldn't be Arthur if that didn't happen in the end.
Oh and they
Ye Gods, I have an headache.

Oh, and this gets two starts because although hating it, I had to keep reading just so I could find out what other absurdity was going to show up next!
Profile Image for Holly Dunn.
Author 1 book770 followers
June 4, 2016
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 to make her own decisions. There are some really interesting power structures within the different communities and some wonderful plays on gender. At its heart though, it’s a love story, and a beautiful one at that.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,005 reviews2,597 followers
June 7, 2015
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2015/06/06/b...

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 the story, but also felt there was a lot that kept me from connecting with it fully.

To start, The Gracekeepers takes place in a world where the ocean has flooded most of the earth, so its people have learned to adapt. Those who have taken to the sea and made their permanent homes aboard ships and other vessels are referred to as damplings, while those who have remained on land are known as landlockers. A class disparity exists between these two groups, with damplings regarded as second-class citizens and often looked upon with condescension and suspicion by the more well-to-do landlockers.

The story focuses predominantly on two characters, North and Callanish. North is a young woman who performs with her trained bear companion as part of her act with the traveling circus ship Excalibur. The circus’s captain and ringmaster Jarrow “Red Gold” Stirling has dreams for his son and North to marry and settle on land in a house he’s spent his whole life saving up for, to the displeasure of Avalon, Jarrow’s pregnant wife who wants that house for herself. Meanwhile in another place, Callanish lives a solitary life while dutifully performing her role as a gracekeeper, an undertaker of sorts who lays the dead to rest at the bottom of the ocean. Callanish and North meet in the wake of a great storm after the crew of the Excalibur is forced to make their way to the gracekeeper to seek her services, and the two are drawn to each other immediately.

Kirsty Logan has created something very interesting here, as far as her world and characters go. The writing style evokes an image of a gauzy shroud enveloping everything in the story with a light aura of enchantment, even though there is little to no magic involved. As I had expected, a bit of imagination is required to find your way through the mist, because even though the world is fascinating, world-building itself is decidedly lacking. There’s a positive side to this if you like getting just enough to inspire the mind, especially if you enjoy a little ambiguity and speculation. For instance, could the waterworld of The Gracekeepers be our own in some distant future, or someplace else entirely? What caused the divide between damplings and landlockers? How did the rituals of gracekeeping first come about and what’s the significance behind the use of graces, small birds that are starved to death in order to mark the end of the mourning period? There are many things that don’t get explained, but perhaps they don’t need to be – similar to the way we’re content to accept folk or fairy tales as they are, because there is simply no need to question them critically. And certain aspects of the narrative – like Callendish’s backstory – are better off being vague because we already have all the information we need to know.

However, while there are the bigger and more general mysteries that I can abide going unsolved, I still felt there were some specific details lacking that hurt the overall cohesiveness of the story. There are two factions – the military and the revivalists – that are important to the plot of The Gracekeepers, but they felt like such a poor fit with the rest of the book because the parts they played were slapdash and written in so randomly. Individuals like North and Callendish are characterized very well, but when it comes to actual character relationships, the story loses some of its magic. I wasn’t even that convinced of the bond between North and her bear, her best friend and companion since childhood who apparently wasn’t even given a name. There are more examples which I can’t go into for fear of spoilers, but with regards to the writing style, it’s probably safe to say that the emphasis is on atmosphere – which, to the author’s credit, she creates very well – but there just isn’t enough substance for me. I would have preferred more reasons to engage with the story and to see everything tie together more neatly.

Still, I would happily recommend The Gracekeepers, even if it does come with a couple caveats. It’s quite an ambitious novel, very well-written considering how the author no doubt achieved the haunting, dreamy effect she was going for. Not as solid as I’d hoped, but the story is nonetheless fascinating and beautiful, walking that fine line between melancholy and optimism, and I found the characters genuinely interesting.
Profile Image for Helene Jeppesen.
685 reviews3,643 followers
October 11, 2015
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 allowed me to escape completely from my own world and be submerged by this alternative. I liked this world of floating, and I liked how Kirsty Logan described it in an understandable, however open, manner that pushed you to imagine everything in your own head.
That being said, I felt like this book lacked a plot. Most of it is basically a description of this world as well as of the characters we meet, but it's not until halfway through the book that the actual plot starts - and that plot turned out to be quite weak, in my opinion. While I did admire the world building, I couldn't help but be bored with the heavy descriptions on the surroundings and the characters' thoughts, and I ended up not really caring about them.
I recently read a short story by Kirsty Logan, The Rental Heart, which I was very impressed with. This one has a lot of symbolism in it, and while reading "The Gracekeepers", I tried to look for symbols - maybe I just wasn't getting the bigger picture? However, now after having finished the book I still haven't managed to figure out the bigger meaning of this. The world was amazing, but the story in itself was uninteresting, and that's the reason for my rating. I know of a lot of people who absolutely adore this story, but I personally just thought it was okay - magical, but okay :)
Profile Image for Blair.
1,744 reviews4,170 followers
January 11, 2016
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 book, but as others won't necessarily find the comparison flattering, I will again add that Logan is a better writer. It's the atmosphere of the stories that's similar.) As with many good stories that appear to be whimsical, there is an undercurrent of darkness that adds spice and bite to a narrative that's often deceptively gentle.

The setting is a waterlogged world in which there is a class division between landlockers, the lucky few with homes on dry land, and damplings, whose nomadic lives are spent at sea. There are two main characters: North, who resides on a circus boat and makes a living performing with her beloved bear, and Callanish, who lives alone on an island and works as a gracekeeper, tending the graves of those who die at sea. (The latter idea is expanded from a short story in Logan's debut collection, The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales.) When a storm hits and tragedy strikes the Circus Excalibur, North and Callanish meet and are immediately drawn to each other; The Gracekeepers becomes a story about their connection, how they are inescapably drawn back to one another, and about how each is searching, in some way, for a family, for a home, for permanence.

Many negative reviews are from readers frustrated that there wasn't more world-building, that certain things about how this society worked weren't fully explained - but I always saw it as more of a dreamlike landscape, one that wasn't necessarily supposed to feel entirely real. In my head, it didn't look anything like this world; instead, I imagined that beyond the seascapes we heard about, the water simply poured off the edge of the earth. Many reviews also assume the setting is post-apocalyptic or a version of our own future, but again I saw it differently, as an alternate world or alternate history, definitely magical; there's no actual magic, but you wouldn't be surprised to encounter it. Pre-flood society might well have been the world we know, or something very like it, but I felt that taking that for granted would reduce it to some cautionary tale about the environment, taking away all the enchantment. Enchantment is a very appropriate word for The Gracekeepers, perfect for the glamour of the circus, the ethereal imagery of Callanish's island home, and the magnetic draw of the central couple's attraction.

The lush language of The Gracekeepers makes it a book to be savoured slowly, and it's best when measured out in small portions. If there was one thing about it I didn't like (and this became particularly noticeable whenever I read a big chunk of the book in one go) it was the repetition of certain words and phrases - I'd be quite happy to never see the word 'belly' again in my life, and Flitch calling Callanish 'little fish' drove me crazy (though, considering the general obnoxiousness of his character, I'm sure that was the point).

Something a bit different for me, certainly, but a book I'm really glad I persisted with, and one that created a genuinely memorable world.
Profile Image for Magrat Ajostiernos.
558 reviews3,845 followers
February 15, 2020
Callanish es una gracekeeper, vive aislada del resto del mundo, como una sacerdotisa antigua abandonada a sus rituales y pensamientos... pero un día conoce a North, una joven que pertenece a un circo ambulante, y sus vidas quedarán entretejidas para siempre.
Es una pena que no haya terminado de amar este libro, pero me han fallado muchas cosas.
Aún así, es una lectura agradable, he disfrutado mucho del estilo intimista y poético de la autora, de ese mundo que construye tan particular (fan de la idea del mundo acuático semi postapocalíptico con esas clases sociales tan marcadas) y que deja tanto a la imaginación... pero según avanzaba la novela se me iba cayendo poquito a poco.
Ni los personajes ni la trama lograron atraparme y me da la impresión de que a los primeros les falta personalidad y pecan de estereotipados. La trama va a la deriva sin llevarte a ninguna parte y finalmente el desenlace me pareció... poco consecuente. Especialmente el tema del oso.
Sea como sea, es una novela que creo que tiene grandes ideas pero que falla en su desarrollo y desenlace. No me disgustó pero da pena porque tenía todos los elementos para resultar mucho más interesante.
La edición del libro, eso sí, es una absoluta preciosidad.
***No está traducido al castellano que yo sepa.
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,323 followers
May 24, 2015
“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 has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland ("landlockers") and those who float on the sea ("damplings"), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives--offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.

Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.

Logan has divided her imaginative, highly-alluring yet dangerous world into two parts- landlockers and damplings. Now landlockers were those who had a classy upbringing and whose ancestors had inhabited the solid and steady ground under their feet and are meant to be forever privileged where religious dogma prevailed in every fiber of each human-being living on the mainland. Not only that, they had the power to everything or rather say, control over every commodity.

Damplings are those who lead a nomadic life on the sea, and who never had a privileged lifestyle and are forced to live either by the edge of the sea or on a boat braving the storm and hard weather conditions every single day of their lives.

Callanish is a gracekeeper who is in charge of putting the souls of those are dead on the sea (damplings) to rest. She lives in isolation on a lone island mainly because of a past mistake that still haunts her to this day. Her graces are her only companion in her isolation, birds in cages whose life span are linked to the duration of the mourning period.

North is another dampling who works as a bear girl in the Excalibur circus and circus is her only family. The red-faced ring master Jarrow, the leader of the circus. He made it sure that North gets married to his only son, whereas Jarrow's new wife is a vile character, who would not stop at anything in ruining her son's marriage with North. On the other hand, North leads a painful life keeping the islanders entertained with their extravagant and marvelous shows.

And when North and Callanish paths cross, they are not only drawn towards each other but are also left parted by some events while they are both trying to put their feet on the mainland by making their own lives.

The author's initial world building is really rich and deep with details and layered with proper reasons. This novel is a work of perfection with flawless writing style that captivates one's mind almost immediately. The shifting narrative style that lets us see through the minds of various characters is kept evocative and free-flowing. The lyrical pace is steady since it takes time to swim deep into the depths of this story.

The characters from the circus have an air of engaging, unique and impressive demeanor. The pain is not reflected through their voices instead they masked them with their jubilant acts that they performed. Moreover, the author have strikingly painted the picture of the circus which let me see and believe like it's happening right in front of my eyes. The emotions of these characters are very well portrayed and the author have kept them closer to the reality.

The whole story has a fairy-tale kind of feel which is not only enticing enough to keep us glued to the story, but is also an emotional journey of those who live a difficult life. The author have mixed science fiction with mythology, thus resulting into The Gracekeepers which is an exquisite novel that is sure to keep you drawn into it till the very end. This is a must-read novel for everyone, since this author is a master story-teller, and being her debut novel, she crafted it like a pro with delicacy and compassion.

Verdict: Grab a copy of the book now to lose yourself into Logan's charming watery world.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author's publisher for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
3,551 reviews2,535 followers
February 10, 2020
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 act with her beloved bear. The floating circus travels between rare plots of reclaimed land, often flanked by revival and prison boats. Despite the risk of punishment, the circus acts mock the military and play with gender roles.

Although the novel’s most obvious precedents are Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, attentive readers may also find echoes of Shakespeare in the gender-bending plot. Ringmaster Red Gold and his wife, Avalon, recall Oberon and Titania from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while the presence of the bear brings to mind The Winter’s Tale. Pregnancy, mothers and daughters, and rituals of life and death form recurring themes. Logan also weaves in Scottish mythology about the sea through the hint of mermaids or selkies.

Whether The Gracekeepers creates a coherent fantasy world or a jumble of half-formed ideas will depend on the reader [I tended towards the latter viewpoint]. In any case, this is an absorbing and atmospheric read told in third-person sections alternating the perspectives of each character. Here’s a taste of the magic: “With glitter in their blood, coals in their chests, choking on their secrets, they sailed into the night.”

[Another objection...about that bear: ]
Profile Image for Lotte.
536 reviews1,106 followers
March 15, 2017
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!
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,028 reviews2,628 followers
November 11, 2015
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 performed with her – no one could control him like she did; no one dared. The night of a terrible storm saw change to the lives of the damplings – the loss of one of their own was a tragedy, but they needed to sail to a gracekeeper; a person who performed the Restings where the body was committed to the deep – the graces were there to aid in their departure.

Callanish was living alone on her small island, performing the Restings; her life of exile was a lonely one, but she was content enough with her daily work. She was often hungry, but the supply boats and the Messengers came by now and then. The day the Excalibur gently bumped the dock outside her small house, she saw the faces of the circus people for the first time. She also met North; the immediate affinity Callanish felt to North, and North to her was uncanny. Instead of being repelled, North drew closer. They understood each other – but they were destined to part once the Resting was over. North departed with the Excalibur and the circus crew, as they continued their frugal lifestyle from island to island. And Callanish continued her lonely existence – but she missed her mother. She needed to see her again; how would she leave her island? A gracekeeper was destined to stay in the one place, serving the dead – it was law…

The Gracekeepers by author Kirsty Logan is a mystical tale, beautifully written and filled with mythical characters reminiscent of Scottish fables. The characters were diverse and shadowy; intrigue and secrets, mystery and love enveloped them all. For all lovers of fairy tales, mythology and beautifully, descriptive writing, I would say give The Gracekeepers a go - you won't regret it!

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy to read and review.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,129 reviews607 followers
June 20, 2015
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 performs with her bear. Left an orphan at a young age, her bear and the circus have become her home and family. Now the circus owner, Jarrow, has plans to marry her to his son and buy respectability for the family by building them a house on land, even though North has no desire for this. When a member of the circus troupe is killed, North meets Callinish, the gracekeeper who is responsible for the burials of the damplings in the sea surrounding her tiny island where she lives a spartan life alone. Callinish and North both have secrets and immediately feel an affinity for each other, although they must part and return to their very different lives.

The prose in this novel is beautiful and makes for a wonderful story rich with Celtic overtones of mythical water creatures. The world building is somewhat hazy and this adds to the ethereal, evocative atmosphere of the book. It is after all the characters who matter most, in particular the circus performers and Avalon, Jarrow's assertive, jealous wife. North's bear is also an important character as he ties her to the circus, but he is somewhat shadowy and his role towards the end of the book was understated in regards to North's great love of him. However, if you enjoy mythology and gorgeous prose you will enjoy this book. One of the GR members (Carol-Reading Writing and Riesling) recommends the audiobook read by the author in her lovely lilting Scottish accent - just perfect for this book.
Profile Image for Katie Lumsden.
Author 1 book2,707 followers
May 7, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Ellen Gail.
835 reviews373 followers
November 29, 2015

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 cone on the hottest day of summer; satisfying and filling.

2) Callanish and North, the two main characters. Yes, those names are rather ridiculous. Do I give one single iota of a shit? Nope. In this magical, fantastic world everything is varying degrees of ridiculous, until it circles all the way around and becomes so damn right. All the characters have pretty strange names actually. And all the characters are fantastic, so maybe there's a connection? Couldn't rule it out.

3) Quotable Quotes!

"She knew that she would sit on the porch every evening and watch for him until he returned. Not for the man that he was - he could end up under her house, picked clean by fish, for all the difference it made - but for his message....If there was no response, then Callanish would know that she had not been forgiven. Without forgiveness, she would be forever haunted by her mistake; nothing more than the ghost of a ghost."

"She put her gloved hand on the porch, then stretched out her pinkie until it was touching North's pinkie. North almost flinched - but why not have some contact? Why not tell Callanish things?"

4) I couldn't begin to explain the plot. At its simplest, it's a story soaked in magical realism, a tale of land vs sea, of outcasts finding their way through grief and love. It's also about a traveling circus on the sea and a lonely funeral conductor. I will say no more about what happens. I will pretend to be coy and mysterious, but really I just don't think I could do it justice with my explanations.


Every single word from the deliciously gorgeous front cover to the very last page was divine. (And that cover! If that cover was a man I would do spicy inappropriate things to him.)

This completely hit the spot. I'm happier than a cuddle of kittens!
Profile Image for Steffi ~mereadingbooks~.
215 reviews71 followers
April 15, 2015
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 me off. Yes, the members of the circus play with gender roles and that freaks out the audience. Yes, they all constantly wonder about the gender and relationship of the acrobat couple. I get it, even if you don't point it out to me every time it comes up.

I don't know. Maybe it's the wrong time for me to be reading this. I might come back to it some day because maybe it is worth the effort. But right now I simply can't.
Profile Image for Sonja Arlow.
1,071 reviews7 followers
January 2, 2019
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 the grace dies, the loved ones know it is time to move on and stop grieving.

We also meet North, a woman working on a circus boat who has an almost magical bond with her bear. Though Circus Excalibur is lacking a freakshow many of its performances play with the definition of gender in a way meant to confuse and fluster the audience.

I found it funny that although the land lockers are clearly viewed as the people with the most wealth, it’s the revival ships that have the true money, going from island to island to save souls (and empty pockets). I really wish the concept of the revival ships was fleshed out more.

Characterisation takes precedence over world building. That’s the strength of the book but also its weakness. The worldbuilding feels a little incomplete which means some of the imagery had me a confused. I understand why the author didn’t explain things to death as she wanted to conjure feelings rather than complete images.

This is not your typical fast paced dystopian and may not provide answers to all your questions, however it’s such a beautifully different story that weaved an almost mesmerising calmness over me while reading.

As with The Gloaming, I was very impressed with the author’s writing and imagination and will definitely be reading more of her work.
Profile Image for Cherie .
252 reviews33 followers
June 1, 2015
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 Damplings, they live on the water and earn money and food by performing for the Landlockers. Along the way, she meets Callanish, a Landlocker who lives by herself performing burial rituals for the dead. Sometimes multiple viewpoints can enhance a story by showing the reader a more complete picture of the world or circumstances. In this case, all it did was keep me feeling very disconnected from all of the characters. I never really felt anything for any of them. Callanish is lonely and North is lonely and the poor Bear is lonely and they are all trapped by their circumstances…and so what. I didn’t feel bad for any of them. I wasn’t rooting for any of them – except maybe the poor bear.

There wasn’t really much of a plot, either. I kept waiting for something to happen but nothing ever really did. We’re just strung along watching life happen to these people. There are a couple of more exciting and sad scenes, but even these didn’t really sway me much because I had such a disconnect with these characters. I didn’t feel as sad as I think I should have and I wasn’t on the edge of my seat at any time during my reading. Granted, that may not have been what the author was going for anyway, but even if a book isn’t exciting, I expect to feel something and I just didn’t.

There were also parts of this world and social structure and customs that I just didn’t understand. Why is everyone so hungry all the time? The sea is full of fish and plants and other creatures, yet everyone is always hungry all the time. I don’t get it. I also didn’t get why the Landlockers held such sway. It’s a mark of your superior status to own land in a world where land is so scarce, but that would mean that there are many many more Damplings. I would think there would be a huge black market and a lot of piracy in a world such as this. The burial traditions include caging a bird – a Graceling – and letting is starve to death. When the bird dies, the period of mourning is over. Where do these birds come from? Callanish worries about leaving her post and doing things properly but who is she afraid of? We’re never introduced to a governing body or any type of authority other than the soldiers who are called to arrest people. Who gives them their orders? Is there a council, a governor, a king…what?

Overall, I didn’t hate this. There are some really interesting concepts and I didn’t dislike it enough to stop reading it. I finished but felt unfulfilled. I’m sad about that because I love the idea of an Earth covered in water and humanity starting to evolve to its new circumstances. However, there were just too many holes and a lack of character depth and plot that left me feeling very blah about this book. For those of you wondering, this book is definitely more Literary than Sci-Fi or Fantasy. Also, just a comment about the comparisons to The Night Circus. I loved The Night Circus and while I can definitely see the comparisons, I don’t really feel like if you loved that book you’ll love this one – obviously. However, if you loved The Night Circus, this might be worth checking out. It has a similar surreal quality to it that many readers will love.
Profile Image for Abbie | ab_reads.
603 reviews451 followers
March 13, 2018
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 characters are also interesting, I like seeing the story for different angles. But then they kept...on...coming! To the point where a new perspective was added in the second-to-last chapter when I was hoping for more Callanish and North! I don’t care about you, random character! I think it’s difficult to really nail for than 4 character’s voices, and there’s at least 6 in this book, ones you see for only one chapter and it made the book seem disjointed.
Wow okay, I didn’t mean to write that much there! It’s made me sound like I didn’t enjoy it much at all WHICH IS NOT THE CASE! The writing is stunning, Logan creates such a dreamy atmosphere, and the relationships she pens are both realistic and fantastical. Obviously my favourites were North and Callanish, but I also loved North and her bear, and the twisted relationships between Avalon and... everyone, pretty much.
The concept was also fascinating, it’s set in a future where most of the land has been overrun by sea and there is a strange animosity between ‘landlockers’ and ‘damplings’, land-dwellers and boat-dwellers.
So I think overall I did enjoy it, but I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more if I didn’t get this confused & disjointed feeling because of too many viewpoints!
Profile Image for Maja Ingrid.
446 reviews125 followers
November 12, 2019
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 shipped - IT WAS SHIPPED IN A THIN PLASTIC BAG WITHOUT KIND OF PADDING OR WRAPPING TO PROTECT THE BOOK (I'm still fuming with anger over that).

For me, this is a book that requires a specific mood. I wasn't in the right mood. I kind of find it all underwhelming. While the writing and worldbuilding is beautiful, other than that, it's meh.
Profile Image for Lori.
1,431 reviews55.8k followers
June 16, 2015
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, it's miles better!) In it, society has been broken up into two parts: the "landlockers", a higher class of people who live privileged lives on the remaining islands, and the lower class "damplings" who are forced to make a life at sea.

Callanish hovers between the two, self-exiled on a small island where she performs the solitary and somber role of Gracekeeper. That's a fancy term for administering shoreside burials, known as restings, for the damplings who sail their recently deceased into her graceyard. Once she releases the body into the water, she marks the spot with a caged Grace - lovely little birds that are raised to be starved to death out on the ocean. Their death, interestingly enough, signifies the end of the grieving period for the bereaved. Callanish performs these restings in exchange for food and supplies.

Floating from archipelago to archipelago is the glorious Excalibur and its motley crew of circus performers - led by Jarrow, the ringmaster, and his demanding and extremely pregnant wife Avalon. The circus boat pulls itself ashore, night after night, to entertain the landlockers and fill their bellies with their hard earned food. Theirs is a show unlike any others - with gender bending maypole dancers; acrobats; a fire-breather; bitter, subversive clowns; and a girl who dances with a bear.

When an unexpected storm takes the life of one of their acrobats, the Excalibur makes its way to Callanish's graceyard and an instant bond develops between the Gracekeeper and North, the circus's bear-girl. Through their meeting, North finds the strength to share a secret that has been weighing heavily on her for some time and Callanish finds a kindred spirit, someone who will not judge her for her differences. Once the performer's body had been laid to rest, the two women reluctantly say goodbye - North and her bear climb aboard the Excalibur as the circus moves on in search of work among the islands, and Callanish is left alone again, to grieve the things she thought she'd put behind her for good. But they have left lasting marks on each other and its ripple effect will change the course of both their lives.

Kirsty Logan's world is very much on the brink of war. Tension is building everywhere. It's found within religion, both that of the 'World Tree' worshipping islanders from Callanish's past to the more ritzy Revivalists who sail the seas in giant luxury ships. It lives in the social struggles between the damplings and landlockers, which greatly influences our little circus - many of those on the Excalibur have ties to land in one way, shape, or form, but none hunger for it more greatly than Jarrow and Avalon, though for very different, and potentially deadly, reasons.

A haunting, stirring novel, The Gracekeepers was brought to life beautifully by Katy Townsend's whispery narration as Kirsty's mystical and dreamlike prose gently guided us through the book's alternating chapters. And like any good performer, Kirsty subtly weaves Scottish lore and myths throughout this watery world of hers as she distracts us with the glitter and gold of the circus life.
Profile Image for Jacqie.
1,590 reviews75 followers
September 4, 2015
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. Landlockers take the few bits of land, but most people live on boats and travel from island to island. The focus of the book is on an aquatic circus, and especially on North, whose act features a bear.

While the setting is interesting, it didn't actually make a lot of sense. Gracekeepers apparently keep small birds. They do funeral rituals in which these birds (graces) are left caged near the weighted down body under the sea until the bird dies. The death of the grace signifies the end of the mourning period. So.. resources are incredibly scarce. But food is set aside to raise these birds, which are left to die but not eaten. There's also a lot of distaste for eating fish caught close to shore, because that's where bodies are interred. Why not take the bodies out to deep ocean? I have no answer for you. I also don't really have an answer about why food is scarce, when there's a world of ocean with fish and plants. Where does wood, metal, cloth come from? Also uncertain. How does the shoestring circus come up with the resources to feed a bear if there's not even enough money for all twelve players to eat apples? Don't know.

Now to be fair, this book is supposed to be dreamlike and I'm sure everything is a metaphor. I'm a pretty literal reader, though, and kept asking questions.

The language of the book is a bit overblown. It's pretty enough, but dialogue is stilted. The characters are overemphasized and not subtle. The ringmaster wants his son to live on land instead of a boat and is taking everything the circus has to make this dream come true. No one but him is really interested in this idea, but it's all that he's about. There are lots of conversations that just never happen because everyone is afraid to talk. I suppose it's another peeve of mine- the problem that could be solved with one honest conversation but instead drives the plot of a whole book.

If the author dials down the drama and pathos a bit and puts a bit more shading into her characters and also thinks through the mechanics of her worldbuilding a bit more, there could be a good book here. I think the author does have potential.
Profile Image for Brooke.
735 reviews353 followers
July 30, 2015
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 appreciate authors who take chances and cross the line of "normal" literature then sink your toes in this one you just might be surprised and love it just as much as me!
Profile Image for Eleanor (bookishcourtier).
544 reviews110 followers
July 30, 2018
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 say, so lets just get into it.


- I did really like the concept! I thought this was magical realism, and it is but it is also more high fantasy-esque than I thought. It is set in this world where most of the land has flooded, and the people have separated into landwalkers and damplings. One of the main characters lives on this floating circus, which is just super awesome! I thought it might be like the night circus in this respect, but it wasn't really that magical. I guess that was slightly disappointing for me. There was a little magic, but not very much, and I was very much hoping there would be a little bit of mermaid action in here....but there wasn't. Not really.

- I did like the characters...but they weren't the most interesting or dynamic of people. I think I maybe preferred Callanish to North, because she actually did something, rather than...sitting...on...her...ship...the whole time....like North. I think there was supposed to maybe be a romance between the two - which would have been so amazing....if it had actually happened. There was maybe a beginning of it at the end, but not really enough to satisfy me. Also, the two of them just never seemed to interact, which was sad.

- I felt like the plot was pretty safe and simple and boring. Not much happened. It was very rambly and kind of wrapped up in its own prettiness. It was nice, it wasn't heavy going at all, buuut it was just not really thrilling or wow-ing or whatever you give a book a high rating for. I remember this book more by the cover than the plot to be honest. I didn't hate it - I liked the writing and stuff. I liked everything that happened...and that is the full extent of my feelings towards this book.

I'm forgetful and tired and this book didn't really capture my attention. I guess if you like slow moving, nice, safe, magical realism stuff then you might like this? I don't see it becoming my favourite book by any chance. I wish it had been a bit more magical and had some more substance (a little like this review ha ha) and more more . It was nice, it was fun, and I didn't really care much.
Profile Image for shakespeareandspice.
340 reviews535 followers
May 20, 2017

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 this book.

Echoing the setting of Station Eleven, The Gracekeepers is more a book of style rather than substance. And I don’t think that is by any means a bad thing, but this kind of book would not appeal to everyone. It’s more of something to enjoy for its beauty rather than scrutinize for its content.

Majority of this novel reads like a fairy tale, fragmented events from various characters scattered throughout, and while I don’t think the ending of the novel is necessarily unsatisfactory, it does lack the umpf that I was hoping the book would conclude with. Some of the storylines and characters Logan had introduced, built up, remain unresolved in a way that was slightly disappointing. Avalon, for example, while not a very likable character by any means, was devoted quite a few chapters in the book. So while I didn’t consider her the focus of the plot, she does play a major role in shaping North’s life and I would’ve preferred to see how her story ends. Similarly, I would’ve further liked to hear about what happens between Jarrow, Avalon, and Ainsel once they settled into their house. Seeing as how the house was the hot topic between the three of them and North, I expected to read a bit more about what happens in this case. The book introduces some interesting characters, but only really wraps up North and Callanish’s stories.

Regardless, the highlight of the novel is most certainly the Kirsty Logan’s impressive writing style. She clearly writes with a lot of heart, and it certainly shows. Each word, phrase, and paragraph is woven to be admired. As a whole, despite my complaints about the ending, it is really hard for me not to say this is a book I really liked a lot. Incredibly atmospheric and mystical in it’s form, The Gracekeepers was one of most relaxing, wholly enjoyable, and delightful reads that I’ve read this year.

Disclaimer - A copy of this ebook was provided by Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by any exterior motives.
Profile Image for Mel González.
464 reviews64 followers
August 31, 2016
“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 this since page one. It grabbed me, especially because it planted so many interrogations in my head that I could not help but speculate and wonder about where this book was going.

It was definitely a very original story that had so much potentiality to be much bigger than it was (or much more explained) but I kind of liked that it didn't answer every single question because it honestly never seemed like that kind of book to me. I really liked seeing the circus dynamics, everyone's roles in it and the way the interacted with each other. I also enjoyed that, since we get so many perspectives, we can kind of understand everyone's POVs, or at least we can get to know their motivations and the way their head works, since they are so peculiar and hard to follow sometimes.

There were so many little hints to tell us how the world worked and I found that extremely absorbing, clinging to every bit of information and being happy with it. I feel like it's not a book for everyone though, it has its slow moments but it also has some chapters that you have to keep reading because they are incredibly fascinating. I also adored the vestiges of magical realism we get, that came without warning and left me pondering.

Overall, it's a gorgeous book and if you're into weird, whimsical, eerie books, I think you're definitely going to enjoy this one.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,309 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.