Monday, May 18, 2015

The Gracekeepers (Kirsty Logan)

It’s difficult to describe Kirsty Logan’s The Gracekeepers, and to be honest, I’m not even entirely sure what I just finished reading last night.  Treating its elements of fantasy as totally normal while giving the reader a strange sense of foreboding, The Gracekeepers attempts to cross genres, but not all that successfully.

North and her beloved bear are part of a traveling circus, and the circus itself is made up of “damplings,” people who stay on the water. These damplings go from island to island to entertain the “landlockers,” and the relationships of the circus performers are really what make this novel interesting.  Logan is not as successful in telling Callanish’s story; Callanish is a hybrid per se, who lives on the land, but goes out into the water to do “restings” (water burials).  Her chapters seemed to weigh this book down.

Unfortunately, at no time did I really feel invested in The Gracekeepers.  It was difficult to understand exactly what was going on at any given moment, especially when the “gracekeepers” themselves came into the story.  If reading a book feels more like work than it should, I have to give it a lower-than-average rating.