Tore Kvæven

When the Land Darkens

The year is 1293. Arnar Vilhjálmsson, a young boy, is rowing out on his first walrus hunt. After the hunt, a girl stands before him. She looks down at the beast he has slain, her eyes full of defiance, and her words full of scorn. Then she turns and runs away from him, without looking back. Her name is Eir.

In the Norsemen’s Western Settlement, on Greenland, a sense of unease has been creeping in. The walrus that gave the settlers their wealth have been retreating. The ships that used to sail from Norway and Iceland to trade there have become few and far between. The Greenlanders’ own vessels are rotting. The people are wondering: is this the end?

Arnar dreams of one day building his own ship and sailing towards the lands further west, seeking timber, iron and hope for the future. Eir is part of that dream. In this quest for a future, Arnar is even willing to defy his own chieftain, gods, and the laws of men.
When the Land Darkens is a dramatic story of destiny, with highly convincing portrayals of people and nature delivered through colourful and powerful language, transporting readers back to Greenland at a fascinating time.

An absolutely incredible novel! […] When the Land Darkens is great storytelling in every way. It is still early spring at the time of writing this, but it is no bold prediction to say that this book will survive the competition from this autumn’s literary output.

Fartein Horgar, Adresseavisen / 6 out of 6

A superb Norwegian novel! Tore Kvæven’s new historical novel set in the Middle Ages is so exceptional, and superbly well written, that VG’s reviewer went back to re-read some chapters several times.

[…] a great author in a genre that is relatively overlooked at present. […] The subject matter, plot and language enthralled me.

Emil Otto Syvertsen, Fædrelandsvennen. 6 out of 6

Tore Kvæven has written an impressive Bildungsroman set in the Viking Age.

Cathrine Krøger, Dagbladet. 5 out of 6

Tore Kvæven

4037 20180312175212000000
Photo: Tommy Ellingsen

Tore Kvæven (b. 1969) is from Sirdal, in the southern Norwegian county of Vest-Agder. He made his debut in 2011 with Hard Is the Law of My Land. His day jobs are as a school teacher at Tonstad, and as a sheep farmer with approximately 230 sheep.

Rights sold to

Turbine, Denmark

Other titles

Hard is the Law of My Land, 2011

Foreign rights

Northern Stories
Agent: Thomas Mala
[email protected]
+47 46 67 61 55


Brageprisen 2018 for best fiction, When the land darkens

Edited August 30, 2019 by Northern Stories