21 May 2015

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

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.

Kirsty Logan surprised me with her lyrical and mesmerizing storytelling in The Gracekeepers, telling a magical and fantastical adventure within a richly-developed, imaginative world. Though the story played out differently than I initially anticipated and contained elements I did not expect, The Gracekeepers still kept me captivated and interested from start to finish. It’s an overall unusual read, but I did enjoy it. Readers looking to explore a new world or experience a fairy-tale-esque tale should definitely consider picking up The Gracekeepers.

Thanks to Blogging for Books, I received a copy of The Gracekeepers and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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