The Border Keeper

The Border Keeper (Kerstin Hall)

25 March 2020

The Border Keeper

Please note that due to the current plague, we will not be meeting in person for this month's discussion. Details for online discussion will be sent to the mailing list.


She lived where the railway tracks met the saltpan, on the Ahri side of the shadowline. In the old days, when people still talked about her, she was known as the end-of-the-line woman.

Vasethe, a man with a troubled past, comes to seek a favor from a woman who is not what she seems, and must enter the nine hundred and ninety-nine realms of Mkalis, the world of spirits, where gods and demons wage endless war.

The Border Keeper spins wonders both epic—the Byzantine bureaucracy of hundreds of demon realms, impossible oceans, hidden fortresses—and devastatingly personal—a spear flung straight, the profound terror and power of motherhood. What Vasethe discovers in Mkalis threatens to bring his own secrets into light and throw both worlds into chaos.

Average Rating:

Sinclair Manson (11 April 2020 09:07)

I enjoyed reading this novel immensely. The gothic tone is perfectly pitched, the imagery as astonishing as it is unsettling. The mysteries of the setting and lead characters are allowed to unfurl for the reader, without any extraneous exposition. This keeps the reader focussed on the detail and preserves the freshness of each new marvel or horror. The pleasure I took in reading this made the abrupt ending a disappointment. I felt as though the story had been cut short, wrapped up with a rush in a confusing throne room confrontation with the villain. It's unusual but it feels like this book would have benefitted from being two or three times longer!