The Gracekeepers

The Gracekeepers

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
8
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North and her bear live on a circus boat, floating between the scattered archipelagoes that are all that remains of the land. To survive, the circus's acrobats, fire-swallowers and pony-tricksters must perform for the few fortunate islanders in return for food and supplies. Callanish tends the watery graves along the equator as penance for a long-ago mistake. She craves forgiveness but instead must spend her days alone with the dying birds that mark people's mourning for the dead. A storm brings a change in both of their lives that they may not have been looking for, but that may bring them the peace and happiness they have silently yearned for. Will they have the courage to embrace the possibilities of a world where the old boundaries are dissolving?
Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2015.
ISBN: 9781443437936
Characteristics: 293 pages ;,23 cm

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AL_JENNY Feb 14, 2018

Set in a future where ocean levels have risen so high that land is scarce, a young circus performer connects with the guardian of an underwater burial ground. The gorgeous atmospheric imagery and the exploration of loneliness make this book hard to put down!

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fantasyqueen
Mar 18, 2017

very interesting story. sometimes difficult to read, but I was so hooked I couldn't stop

p
peppercat1
Jan 02, 2016

This was a very different book, but I enjoyed it once I decided to go with the premise. It made an impression that has lasted - think I might read it again.

AliReads Oct 18, 2015

The Gracekeepers is great if you're into brilliant, thoughtful, beautiful/creepy world building. After global warming has risen the sea levels till land is precious and all trees are sacred, two young women meet. One is a bear dancer on a sailing circus, another keeps an underwater graveyard. Everything goes wrong and there are brilliant undercurrents (pun intended) of fantasy, or possibly just evolution??)

g
goddessbeth
Aug 07, 2015

I binged on The Gracekeepers, starting and finishing it within 48 hours. It would have been read entirely in one sitting, if I didn't have pesky work and sleep interfering. It's lyrical, haunting, and incredibly imaginative. Logan keeps the story tension taut through the entire page-turning novel, and her cast of characters is amazingly realized (and yet always a bit tantalizingly distant). In fact, there are so many parallels between the damplings' circus and how this book is presented that it kind of boggles me.

This is a story about North. And about Callanish. And about a host of side characters who, like in the circus, have a spotlight/chapter all to themselves for an act, in addition to being the side characters of North's story. I have no idea what Scottish myths and fairytales this is based on, but it's unlike anything I'm familiar with.

I don't want to hype it so much that you're disappointed, but I definitely recommend it. To anyone who enjoys fiction, really. It's gorgeous and heartbreaking and unexpected and- just read it.

b
BWilsoned
Jun 30, 2015

Earth is covered in water, way more than now. No definitive backstory on that, just speculation, which I appreciated. The landlockers stay on their islands of solid ground, not even venturing below the tide line. They trade with other landlocked folk, make up their own traditions, superstitions, and religions. And they don't like the damplings, those who live on the water (boats and ships), traveling around without setting foot on land if at all possible, and have also created their own traditions, superstitions, and religions. North is the bear-girl with a floating circus and Callenish is a gracekeeper, someone who helps lay dead damplings to rest in the sea and helps the survivors grieve and let go through use of graces (doves) in cages.
Callenish is a landlocker, but something else, too. North is a dampling, but offers the possibility of something other than the two obvious choices: land or water.
For an amazing and well-written about this kind of watery world, read Sheri Tepper's 'Water's Rising' trilogy.

b
becker
Jun 14, 2015

This book gets top marks for setting and atmosphere. My images for this world were so vivid. The writing is also lovely. However I was somewhat frustrated with the story line which lacked momentum. I had no sense of where it was going which is something I didn't like. Overall, I think this will be an interesting author to watch in the future. I would definitely pick up her next book.

n
nerowolfgal
Jun 02, 2015

Well written, interesting world-building, but I must admit I am getting weary of debut novels that play the woman/sea/fertility/world-renewal trope.

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