In English



“Emil has established himself as one of Iceland’s main authors of speculative fiction.” ‒ Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature

After publishing two poetry collections and receiving the New Voices Grant of the Icelandic Literature Center in 2008, Emil Hjörvar Petersen (b. 1984) began working on a massive tale: Saga eftirlifenda (Saga of Survivors), a trilogy about the Norse gods who survived Ragnarök and their struggles in a world they lost control of, one of the first Icelandic efforts in the fantasy and science fiction genres. The trilogy was published in 2010–2014. Praised and widely read, it made Emil a pioneer in the speculative genres in Iceland.

In 2016, Bjartur-Veröld published Víghólar (Crimson Hills), a thrilling fantasy crime novel where Nordic noir met urban fantasy and the weird, the first one in a series with the English working title The Shroud. It turned out to be a hit, the TV-rights were sold to Sagafilm, a leading Icelandic producer, and the novel was awarded and highly praised. It was only the beginning: two more books have been published in the series, Sólhvörf (Solstice) and Nornasveimur (Witchfires). The fourth is in the making. The books will be five in total.

Emil has organized many events related to fantasy and sci fi and he has been a participating author at conferences and conventions in various countries, for example Worldcon, Swecon and ICFA. He was one of the represented Icelandic authors at The Reykjavík International Literary Festival 2015, he has worked with Reykjavik UNESCO City of Literature, he has written educational material focused on speculative fiction, and much more.

Emil holds MA in Literature and Cultural Studies, MA in Publishing and Editing, and BA in Comparative Literature. He lives with his wife and two children in Lund, Sweden, soon moving back to Iceland.


“Very entertaining and exciting … Tremendously well done … The story is full of fantastic female characters … A brilliant idea, combining Icelandic reality with the hidden worlds … It’s intriguing how Nordic crime merges with fantasy.” ‒ Kiljan, a prominent Icelandic literary TV-program


A broke Icelandic medium and her psychic teenage daughter get caught up in crime investigations connected to the world of supernatural beings.

It is a mix of Nordic noir and urban fantasy, taking place in an alternate contemporary where the hidden world from folklore is in parallel with our world, but very few can interact with the beings: the elves, trolls, hidden people, ghosts, revenants, spirits, cryptids, monsters etc. Those who can interact with the supernatural are called sensitive. They are, for example, mediums, seers, witches and sorcerers.

Bergrún Búadóttir is a broke medium who’s divorced and consumed by her work, but currently faces a dry spell in employment. Brá Bjarkadóttir is Bergrún’s restless daughter who lives with her father’s family. Her unstable powers are manifesting. In each book there is a new case and a new theme, related to specific creatures and mysteries from Icelandic folklore. The series is correlated with the dramatic story of mother and daughter: their struggles, their relationship, their flaws and hopes and dreams. Their destiny.

Detailed synopsis for each book and sample translations are available if asked for:

For foreign rights, contact Pétur Már Ólafsson, CEO of Bjartur & Veröld publishing:


★ ★ ★ ★ “A thrilling and entertaining Icelandic fantasy.” Morgunblaðið daily

“The author succeeds terrifically in combining a classic noir, Nordic reality and fantasy.”

“Emil creates an exciting and chilling story that he interweaves with Icelandic folklore and modern crime fiction. To us, this story is the perfect material for a thrilling television series.” Sagafilm

★ ★ ★ ★ “With artistic excellence, Emil succeeds in combining the settings of crime fiction and fantasy … The fast and exciting course of events are visual and entertaining.” Morgunblaðið daily

‟A well written and thrilling crime-fantasy where the folktales are used in an interesting and creative way … Tremendously entertaining … Very exciting … Sólhvörf grabs the reader from the first page.” Fréttablaðið daily

★ ★ ★ ★ ‟A terrific novel where Icelandic folklore is intertwined with everyday life … It’s fantastic to see so many strong female characters … It’s very fun to read and keeps you turning the pages.” Nörd norðursins, the main Icelandic online magazine on fantasy & sci fi, video games, board games etc.

A recent interview with the author, in English.

Another one, in English.

Here is a short interview in English with the publisher.