29 Jan 2022


 One of several bloggers who over 7 days will be participating in the Blog Tour for this book {the full schedule for which can be found at the bottom of the post} Today {the 3rd day of the Tour) its my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on ...


Genre ... NA / Adult Historical fiction, historical suspense

Publication Date ... 28th March 2019

Standalone Novel

Estimated Page Count ... 292

Author Content Warning ... Alcoholism, depression, death

Purchase Link ...  https://books2read.com/storytellers/

Would you murder your brothers to keep them from telling the truth about themselves?

On a long, cold Icelandic night in March 1920, Gunnar, a hermit blacksmith, finds himself with an unwanted lodger – Sigurd, an injured stranger who offers a story from the past. But some stories, even those of an old man who can barely walk, are too dangerous to hear. They alter the listeners' lives forever… by ending them.

Others are keen on changing Gunnar’s life as well. Depending on who gets to tell his story, it might lead towards an unwanted marriage, an intervention, rejoining the Church, letting the elf drive him insane, or succumbing to the demons in his mind. Will he manage to write his own last chapter?

Bjørn Larssen’s award-winning, Amazon #1 best selling novel is an otherworldly, emotive Icelandic saga – a story of love and loneliness, relief and suffering, hatred… and hope. ... Synopsis

The thud of the body landing on the good chair sent the dog into hysteria. ... First Sentence, {Monday, March 8, 1920}

Muttering curses, he tore the paper off his new crucifix. He expected it to be small, perhaps the size of his horseshoe. But this one would be to hang where Thora could see it - anywhere would do. It ended between the window and the door right above the table. It couldn't be more visible unless Gunnar painted it red. Now he felt watched by a crucified man wearing a crown made of thorns. "Nice," muttered the blacksmith. "At least it will keep the stupid elf thing away." ...  Memorable Moment

My Thoughts ... I know they say never judge a book by its cover but wow; simple and yet powerful, this cover speaks volumes. 

Not quite like anything I've ever read before, that I've been sat here, staring at the keyboard for the last 20 or so minutes wondering how to do justice to the book testimony to this.

Immersed in the lives of this small community, faced with issues of alcoholism, depression, loneliness and suicidal thoughts {I have to say the author does a exemplary job in his portrayal of mental illness and substance abuse}, you could be forgiven for thinking Storytellers is a bleak, deeply depressing read and yet, and yet, not without the odd humorous moment {the group of well-meaning ladies christened ‘The Constipated Hags of Iceland’ 😂} that, like the glow of a candle on a long, dark Icelandic night, offers a glimmer of light.

A novel of epic proportions, a sort of story within a story, both narrated in the omniscient third person, both, addictively compelling, full of richly depicted characters; each uniquely flawed, each multi-dimensional, peel one layer off, another is revealed {that more wasn't made of the supporting characters ... Hmm!} and as for the setting? Oh my goodness, the atmosphere captured perfectly, that there was even an appearance by an elf ... well, Storytellers is set in Iceland after all.

For the main part, the tale of loner Gunnar, though interwoven into this is the thoughts of the town's doctor and Sigurd {an injured stranger who turns up on Gunnar's doorstep one night} as well as Brynhildur {a sort of love interest}. The other part, intermittent instalments narrated by Sigurd himself over the long Icelandic nights; a story of love, death and a feud between brothers. That the author brings the two threads together so beautifully and seamlessly ... well!

My only niggle about the book {and this says as much about me, maybe even more, than it does about the story telling} is that initially I did find myself a tad confused by the switching of narrator {maybe because of the omniscient third person narration.} However, as the story progressed and  the voices of the narrators grew ever stronger I found this ceased to be a problem.

Altogether an amazing debut novel written in the Icelandic tradition of sitting telling stories around the fireside, I think Bjørn Larssen, a born storytelling if Storytellers is anything to go by, has an incredibly promising future ahead of him.

About Bjørn Larssen ... Bjørn Larssen is a Norse heathen made in Poland, but mostly located in a Dutch suburb, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one, following this achievement several decades later with his first book containing multiple sentences and winning awards he didn’t design himself. His writing is described as ‘dark’ and ‘literary’, but he remains incapable of taking anything seriously for more than 60 seconds.

Bjørn has a degree in mathematics and has worked as a graphic designer, a model, a bartender, and a blacksmith (not all at the same time). His hobbies include sitting by open fires, dressing like an extra from Vikings, installing operating systems, and dreaming about living in a log cabin in the north of Iceland. He owns one husband and is owned by one  neighbourhood cat.

Follow Bjørn Larssen ... ~ Twittter ~ Instagram ~ FaceBook

Blog Tour Schedule ... ~ 27th January: Insta - @duckfacekim09 ~ What Cathy Read Next ~ Becca’s Books ~ 28th January: Over The Rainbow Book Blog ~  Colin Garrow ~ Brown Flopsy's Book Burrow ~ 29th January: Stacey Hammond ~ B for bookreview ~ Felicity Grace Terry ~ 30th January:  Westveil Publishing ~ Novel Kicks ~ Karen Dee's Book Reviews ~ 31st January: The Page Ladies ~ Chez Maximka ~ Coffee & Books ~ 1st February: The bookish hermit ~ sharon beyond the books ~ Zooloo's Book Diary ~ 2nd February: WildWritingLife ~ Jav Bond Blog Tours ~ The Magic Of Wor(l)ds


Kelly said...

I'm glad to know this one lived up to its cover, since it truly is a stunning one! I might have to check this one out more closely...

sherry fundin said...

awesome cover. great review. sounds like one i would enjoy too
sherry @ fundinmental

DMS said...

I am so glad this one turned out to be amazing. I was hoping so when I saw that cover. It is just- wow! Wonderful to hear your thoughts on this book. Thanks for putting it on my radar. :)

nightwingsraven said...

Storytellers sounds like a truly
compelling book. Not to speak of
what you said about the multi-
dimensional characters. I will
add it to my list.
And thank you for your excellent

Literary Feline said...

I am adding this to my wish list. I am glad you enjoyed it!

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Wow! That's two awesome and complimentary reviews I have read about this book in one day. It is definitely heading for my 'wish list' and yes - that cover is truly amazing and very seductive, isn't it? :)