Halendid The Ice Lands

Two couples from Reykjavík are on a road trip through the rugged and inhospitable south of Iceland, across black volcanic sands towards the island’s interior. Hrafn and Egill are childhood friends, Vigdis and Anna their girlfriends. Having gone from rebellious teens dabbling in drugs and violence to wealthy and ruthless venture capitalists, Hrafn and Egill have now along with the rest of the population seen all their money and investments go up in smoke in the financial crisis. Having lost the poorly marked track, their jeep is hurtling through the dark fog when they suddenly come crashing into a large house. The elderly couple who live in the strange, fortified house in the middle of nowhere reluctantly take them in for the night. From the onset, the atmosphere is drenched in foreboding…

Horror story, psychological thriller, folklore and acerbic social commentary on post-bust Iceland come together to form this unique piece. Multilayered, evocative and beautifully written, the novel is one of the most sophisticated Nordic genre novels in years.

“A strongly plotted, well-written novel which introduces a variety of edgy elements into the familiar mix of Nordic Noir. The Ice Lands balances the trappings of the macabre with cutting social critique in this psychological thriller, a scarifying vision of post-crash Iceland; it is Scandinavian writing of real authority.”
-Barry Forshaw, literary critic and author


  • “A brilliant psychological thriller from Iceland. /…/ Steinar Bragi succeeds in linking Iceland’s mysticism and breath-taking natural scenery with contemporary social issues. /…/ However, The Ice Lands is above all an extremely well-written and well-plotted novel about the breakdown of civilisation amongst friends.”


    Politiken, Denmark

  • “An Icelandic thriller for the hardboiled. /…/ A harrowing, different, and ice-cold thriller from a unique, masculine voice.”


    ALT for Damerne, Denmark

  • “On one level, this is a psychological thriller… but at the same time it is classic horror mixing Stephen King’s supernatural phenomena with Michael Haneke’s ancient fires in Time of the Wolf.

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “Enviable technical skill. /…/ Bragi is an extremely skilled writer, and I both look forward to and dread the nightmares he will bring forth in our collective psyches in the future.”

    Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

  • “This is Iceland’s Twin Peaks. /…/ A thriller and a relationship drama so skillfully told that it is difficult to put the book down.”

    Corren, Sweden

  • “Slowly, the author tightens the screws until the increasingly terrifying sequence of events almost gives the reader heart palpitations.”

    Aftonbladet, Sweden

  • “It is dense, suspenseful and characterized by a growing sense of unease, which grows more intense the further the book progresses.”

    Borås Tidning, Sweden

  • “A modern Icelandic saga.”

    Kristianstadsbladet, Sweden

  • “This is a man that masters all the nuances and shades of horror… Possibly the best I’ve read in the horror genre in a long time.”

    Gomorron Sverige, Sweden

  • “A wonderfully profound, original and intriguing author with a superhuman mastery of his craft…”

    Frettabladid, Iceland

  • “A great master of fiction who has consistently demonstrated his unique knack for stirring deep fears in his readers and almost inducing a physical malaise, with words as his weapon.”

    Bokmenntir, Iceland

  • “One of the most interesting and unusual reading experiences I can remember.”

    DV, Iceland

Photo: Salomonsson Agency Steinar Bragi
  • Literary
Reading material

Icelandic edition

English edition

Swedish edition

Rights sold

Czech Republic, Zlin

Denmark, Gyldendal

Estonia, Varrak

Ethiopia, Hohe

Finland, Like

France, Métailié

Germany, DVA

Greece, Klidarithmos

Hungary, Animus

Iceland, Forlagid

Italy, Marsilio

North Macedonia, Bata Press

Norway, Gyldendal

Serbia, Vulkan

Spain, Destino

Sweden, Natur & Kultur

UK & Commonwealth, Pan Macmillan

Film rights sold

Iceland, Zik Zak Filmworks

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