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.

A sense of unease has been creeping in the Norsemen’s Western Settlement on Greenland. The walruses that gave the settlers their wealth have been retreating. The ships that used to sail from Norway and Iceland to trade have grown few and far between. The Greenlanders’ own vessels are rotting. The people start to wonder: Is this the end?

Arnar dreams of one day building his own ship and sailing towards the lands further west and 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 that, transports readers back to Greenland during a fascinating time.

An absolutely incredible novel! […] When the Land Darkens is great storytelling in every way.


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.


You shouldn’t read the novel too quickly because you really want to know how it ends, otherwise you will miss too many details of the description of this journey into the Viking Age.

Saale-Zeitung, Germany

Tore Kvæven’s novel also offers dense, grippingly told stories, but more than that. It describes the strength and rage of young men who, sparing no expense, become entangled in battles in which one can easily recognize the news of our time.

NDR Kultur, Germany