Callandish is a Gracekeeper, who performs burial rites. North performs in a floating circus with a bear. Both women have connections to mysterious sea creatures. That's about it.
I think this book was going for quiet, atmospheric fantasy in the vein of The Night Circus. Unfortunately, it was less successful. A large part of the success of The Night Circus was that it made the reader feel the excitement and the enthusiasm of those attending the circus. Everything in The Gracekeepers has a shabby, starving feel that makes one not want to visit, and the characters and the story are insufficiently interesting to pull one in on their own. Additionally I felt that the two halves of the story were not connected as well as they should be. This could easily have been two separate novellas that just happen to be presented alongside each other here. The hints of selkies also come to very little.
Very prettily written, but there's not much there there.