Work

 


 
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The Lion (Ljónið)

After an incident at her old school that led to her being expelled, sixteen year old Kria has moved with her parents to Reykjavík. They want her to make a fresh start, but she has zero hopes that a new school will make her life any better. But to her surprise she is befriended by the beautiful and popular Elisabet, who lives in one of the oldest houses in Reykjavík. And despite the demands of her studies, Kria starts enjoying her new school-life. When Elisabet finds an old chest in a hidden cupboard, she and Kria begin to investigate the curious case of a girl who went missing without a trace in 1938. Kria also meets the mysterious David, who sometimes vanishes for long stretches of time. Soon, Kria discovers that the girl's disappearance may have an unexpected connection to her own life.

 The Lion is the first book in a new trilogy, an exciting story that takes place in contemporary Reykjavík but also delves into terrifying events from the past.


Awards and nominations:

  • Awarded the Reykjavík Children’s Literature Prize 2019 for best original work

  • Awarded the Icelandic Bookseller’s Prize for best YA Book 2018

  • Nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize for Best Children’s and YA Book 2018

reviews:

“After Hildur’s earlier books, expectations are high when a new one comes out. The Lion does not disappoint, it is extremely well written and well thought out. The plot is interesting and the suspense increases as the story moves forward, making it hard for the reader to put the book down.” María Bjarkadóttir / Bókmenntir.is

“[The] atmosphere in the book is bewitching, charming. [...] Although most of the story is a realistic portrayal of the life of contemporary high school students, there is a feeling of enchantment. This is a good book to read in your pajamas on Christmas Day, with a box of chocolates within reach, and darkness, snowfall and Christmas lights outside your window.” Ragnhildur Hólmgeirsdóttir / Lestrarklefinn.is

“The story is well plotted and delivers a realistic portrayal of the world of the Icelandic teenager, while at the same time the realm of fairy tales and mysteries is never far away, as well as a strange case from the past. Those elements intertwine in a thrilling tale and it is easier said than done to put the book down. [...] Hildur is equal to the very best contemporary YA-writers.” Erla María Markúsdóttir / Morgunblaðið

 “The Lion is an extremely well written and bewitching book. The supernatural is especially well executed and a chill is never far from the skin of the reader.“ Brynhildur Björnsdóttir / Fréttablaðið

 

 

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Black Lava Fairy Tale

The Icelandic horse played a major role in Norse mythology. Among other things they helped the gods conquer nature. In return, the very strong carriers were endowed with supernatural powers. Today, when riding with a herd of loose horses across the Icelandic landscape it’s like traveling thousands of years back in time, or to another galaxy in a movie set in an indeterminate future. In recent years, Susanne Walstrom has returned to Iceland many times to document the poetic interaction between horses and nature. In ”Black Lava Fairy Tale” time ceases and the saga commences; a saga in which all humans have dismounted and the horses are on their own. Arctic winds, lava burning under hoofs and new unknown dangers – are the gods still their guardians?

Photographer: Susanne Walström

Design: Mehrdad Arta

Text: Hildur Knútsdóttir

Translation: K.B. Thors and Elisabeth Wennö

Published by: Kerber Verlag

Nominations and awards

  • Shortlisted for the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 18/19


Winter Frost (Vetrarhörkur)

Winter Frost is the tale of an ordinary family in extra-ordinary circumstances. After barely surviving the attack of cannibalistic aliens that plagued Iceland, Bragi and Bergljót need to keep on fighting. Winter Frost is the second part of the story Hildur Knútsdóttir began in the award-winning Winter Dark (Vetrarfrí, 2015).

This is a spine-chilling and masterfully written thriller for adults and children and it’s a book you can’t easily put down. Written in a style as sharply honed as the aliens’ teeth, it is a horror tale with an eerily realistic face. Nothing is what it seems and the twists and turns of the plot leave the reader on the edge of his seat.

No one really knows how many survived the first attack of the aliens. Bragi is lost and Bergljót and her father are willing to risk everything to find him. But can they outwit the aliens? What do the aliens really want? Will the family ever be united again, or will they fall victims to the aliens? What does the future hold? Will their lives ever go back to just being ordinary?

(Text by the Icelandic Literature Center) 

Rights sold to France, The Czech Republic, Macedonia and Denmark.

Film and TV rights sold to RVK Studios.

Awards and Nominations:

  • Awarded the Icelandic Literary Prize for Best Children’s and YA Book 2017

  • Awarded the Icelandic Bookseller’s Prize for best YA Book 2017

  • Nomination for the Reykjavík Children’s Literature Prize 2017

Reviews:

"Bloody, creepy and terribly exciting book and not so easy to put down before finishing." Gudridur Haraldsdottir / Vikan magazine

"Well-written with solid ground work, the contrasts between everyday life and the strange and terrible circumstances arising become sharp and affect the reader ... exciting and stays with you after reading. Not just the chilly feeling of unease but real questions that are not easy to answer. " Maria Bjarkadottir / Bokmenntir.is

"Really refreshing addition to the flora of Icelandic YA literature ... magical realism for teenagers ... original ... the plot is very exciting and well constructed." Halla Th. Oskarsdottir / Frettabladid daily


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Winter Dark (Vetrarfrí)

Winter Dark is a thriller for kids and adults alike. It is a page turner that you’ll find hard to put down. Our story starts with Bergljót who is on her way to school the day before the winter break. She’s looking forward to her days off, and especially to the party being planned for Year 10. Her parents are planning a romantic getaway and Bergljót and her brother, Bragi, will be staying with friends.

But a change of plans takes Bergljót and Bragi off to the summerhouse with their dad while their mum has to stay at home for work. Berglind is upset, sure that she is in for a very dull time, but when her brother and father go for a game of football on a nearby field they walk into a horrific scene; boys on the football field are vomiting and dropping dead one after the other. It soon becomes evident that this is no ordinary plague.

Winter Dark is superbly penned, bloody and brutal, the characters are complex and believable, and the gruesome plotline is well executed, like a horrible waking dream.

(Text by the Icelandic Literature Center )

Rights sold to France, The Czech Republic, Macedonia and Denmark.

Film and TV rights sold to RVK Studios.

Awards and Nominations:

  • Selected for the IBBY Honour List 2018

  • Awarded the Icelandic Women’s Prize for YA literature 2016

  • Runner up for the Icelandic Bookseller’s Prize for best YA Book 2015

  • Nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize for Best Children’s and YA Book 2016

  • Nomination for the Reykjavík Children’s Literature Prize 2016

Reviews:

"Fantastic horror story.“ Egill Helgason / Kiljan Icelandic State TV

****

“Exceedingly well written story, the violence is a pleasantly bloody and brutal, the characters are ambiguos and credible and the disasters it describes are well orchestrated, it‘s like a terrifying daydream. And then there‘s an exceptionally clever spin in the end ... which makes you laugh out loud. Very well done. " Arni Matthiasson / Morgunbladid daily

"Brutally real and wonderfully scary horror story ... I guess Winter Dark is the novel where most Icelanders are openly eaten – kudos to Knutsdottir for managing to write about it in such a way that the reader is sufficiently frightened but without filling every page with torn flesh, blood and other body fluids... extremely exciting, fast paced and well written story - the first of its kind on the Icelandic YA market but hopefully not the last. I look forward to reading the sequel. " Helga Birgisdottir / Hugras

"The book is fun and the style of writing and narrative flow is effortless ... well-written horror that leaves the reader anxiously waiting for a sequel." Tinna Eiríksdottir / Sirkustjaldid


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Doddi: No nonsense! (Doddi – Ekkert rugl!)

Written with Thordis Gisladottir, illustrated by Elin Elisabet Einarsdottir.

Doddi has vowed to get over his relationship with Hulda Rós – the most brave and beautiful girl in the world. But when she starts a feminist revolution he finds that he is, unfortunately, still head over heels.

Doddi is also unknowingly at the center of another revolution brewing: The Panama Papers that reveal gross misconduct of Iceland´s top politicians.

He, along with the rest of the nation, participates in the largest protests in Iceland’s history – and being in the wrong place at the right time, he may just be responsible for toppling a government.

 This is the second book about Doddi, a modern day Icelandic teenager.

Reviews:

“Doddi – No Nonsense! Is overall very entertaining and funny. The humour is sometimes a bit over the top but Doddi manages to cast a funny and often egocentric light on many interesting events of the past months [...] Although it is a funny story, there is a graver undertone beneath the surface critizing some of Icelandic societies recent history, so the book is not only entertainment but invites the reader to reconsider past events and our reaction to them.” María Bjarkadóttir / Bókmenntir.is

 


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Doddi: The Book of Truth! (Doddi: Bók sannleikans!)

Written with Thordis Gisladottir, illustrated by Elin Elisabet Einarsdottir.

Doddi: The Book of Truth! is a hilarious book for children and young adults that describes the everyday life of a fourteen year old boy in a straight-forward and no holds barred-manner. Doddi is not the kind of guy who minces his words and he gives it to us the way it is.

Doddi has two main hobbies – insects and women – and has a tremendous crush on his school mate Hulda Rós. Doddi’s parents have split up and Doddi leads a very typical life for an Icelandic teenager. Pawel, his best friend, also has two main interests – The European Union and mathematics – but luckily, he also takes a huge interest in the pressing issue of Doddi ever getting a girlfriend.

The story is told in a clipped, to the point narrative style and paints a vivid and funny picture of the life of the contemporary teenager, including the important role of social media as a method of expression and how kids feel that grown-ups tend to make a huge deal out of things that really aren’t that serious.

(Text by the Icelandic Literature Center

Awards and Nominations:

  • Awarded the Icelandic Bookseller’s Prize for best Children’s Book 2017

  • Nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize for Best Children’s and YA Book 2017

  • Nomination for the Icelandic Women’s Prize for children 2017

  • Nomination for the Reykjavík Children’s Literature Prize 2017

Reviews:

“The book is very funny, Doddi is a great storyteller ...“ Guðrún Baldvinsdóttir / Icelandic National Public Radio

“[The book] is hilarious and describes the life of a teenage boy without affectation.” María Bjarkadóttir / Bokmenntir.is


Spádómurinn (The Prophecy)

 A gripping story from an exotic world where mysterious forces seek power and it is the fate of a teenage girl to fight back.

„They simply appear beside children the night after they are born and disappear the night after a person dies.“ Sigyn smiled the weariest smile Kolfinna had ever seen. „They are one of the mysteries of life. The wings and the East.“

Kolfinna is fifteen years old and life is full of questions: What is the point of having wings if you can’t use them? What is the threat her parents whisper about out in the shed, when they think she doesn’t hear? And what does it say in the prophecy, which only the adults in the village know?

Awards and Nominations

  • 3rd place in the Icelandic Bookseller’s Prize for best Children’s Book 2012

Reviews:

****
“An original and fun adventure, that explores complex questions about what it really means to be a hero.” Brynhildur Heiðar- og Ómarsdóttir / Fréttablaðið Daily

“The book is an easy and exciting read. It is skillfully written and very imaginative. It challenges conventional gender roles in an original way.” Kristjana Guðbrandsdóttir / DV newspaper

 

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Heartbeat (Sláttur)

Five years after having a heart transplant, 24-year-old Edda is convinced that she got more than just a vital organ in the bargain. At times, she doesn’t know whether her feelings originate with herself, or with her new hear. Edda knows perfectly well that, statistically speaking, she probably isn’t long for this world, so she doesn´t dwell on the future, and had just about resigned herself to the idea of dying. When, however, she gets to know a single father and his seven year-old son, she realizes that maybe it´s time to resign herself to living instead.

Awards and Nominations

  • Awarded the New Voices Grant from the Icelandic Literature Center

Reviews:

“A strong debut. The story of Edda went straight to my heart. There is good reason to keep a close watch on Hildur Knútsdóttir in the future.” Sunna Ósk Logadóttir / Morgunbladid Daily

“Heartbeat is a competent and delicately written work ... incorporating the mystical into a feminine narrative.” Kristjana Guðbrandsdóttir / DV newspaper