23 May 2015

Review #224: The Gracekeepers by Kristy Logan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“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. 

Author Info:
Kirsty Logan is a professional daydreamer. Her first book, The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales, is out now. Her second, The Gracekeepers, will be out in Spring 2015 in the UK, US and Canada.
Visit her here 

Book Purchase Links:


  1. This was amazing! I was lucky enough to get an ARC and here is my review http://thereadingarmchair.blogspot.gr/2015/04/arc-review-gracekeepers-by-kirsty-logan.html
    Great review!

    Aeriko @ The Reading Armchair

  2. I feel like this is a retelling of the greek myth of Calypso because she is too is kept on an island by higher beings and works for the underworld. I love the cover to this one as well so beautiful <3

    I was thinking of what advice I could give you and I think you should really get Bloglovin! It helps bloggers and readers keep track of their favourite blogs easily.

  3. Hi, I've nominated you for the Creative Blogger Award. My blog post has all the instructions: http://myexpandingbookshelf.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-creative-blogger-award-nomination.html


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