The Casket of Time

The Casket of Time, by Andri Snær Magnason - 9781632062055.jpg
The Casket of Time, by Andri Snær Magnason - 9781632062055.jpg

The Casket of Time


By Andri Snær Magnason

Translated from the Icelandic by Björg Arnadóttir and Andrew Cauthery

Yonder: Restless Books for Young Readers

An entrancing re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty for today’s troubled planet, The Casket of Time is a fantastical tale of adventure, time travel, and environmental calamity from celebrated Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason.

Book Details

Hardcover List Price: $17.99 • ISBN: 9781632062055 • Publication: 04/09/19 • 5.5" x 8.25" • 240 pages • Middle Grade Fiction: adventure / fairy tale • Ages: 10 and up • Territory: World • eBook ISBN: 9781632062062

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About the Book

Fearless Sigrun is sick of all the bad news on TV and, even worse, that her parents are totally consumed by it. The economic “situation” has gotten so bad they can only hope that someone else will fix the mess. When they see an ad for a new contraption called a TimeBox®, Sigrun’s family—along with everyone else—decides to wait for better times by hibernating through the catastrophe in their mysterious black boxes. But something goes wrong, and Sigrun wakes up too soon! The city is in ruins, unruly forests and wild animals have  taken over the streets, and all the grown-ups refuse to wake up, like they’re under some kind of trance. The only signs of civilization are a band of kids like Sigrun, who are led by grandmotherly and mystical researcher named Grace.

The world, according to Grace, is under an ancient curse. She tells them the myth of Obsidiana, the Princess of Pangea, who was trapped by a greedy king who had conquered the world and now wanted to conquer time. Believing he was protecting Obsidiana from dark and gloomy days, he put her in a crystal box made of spider silk woven so tight that time itself couldn’t penetrate. Part Sleeping Beauty and part Snow White, the old fairy tale starts to sound like a prophecy Sigrun and her new friends are living through. Now it’s up to them to break the curse, save their families, and mend the world before it’s too late.


Praise for The Casket of Time

“The love child of Chomsky and Lewis Carroll.“

—Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell

“I have not previously seen the fairy tale genre so well tied up with a sci-fi story, a fantasy tale and a contemporary drama all at once. It really is elegant and full of surprises. I am therefore not at all surprised that the book has already won a few awards in Iceland. It would not surprise me if it also won the Nordic Council Children and Young People‘s Literature Prize.“

Weekendavisen, Denmark

“The story confronts the concept of time and twists old fairy-tale memories with a passionate creativity.”

—The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize

“A sparkling and entertaining adventure story in two time eras with a clear moral which, however, never turns into a sermon.”


“The largest box of chocolate written in the Icelandic language that I have ever laid my hands on... This is confectionery for the mind! Wow! It is so good that I forgot to make notes ... This is a book for the 3 year old, the 30 year old, the 300 year old.”

—Audur Haraldsdóttir, Channel 2, National Radio

“Here we have a timeless fairy tale, and Magnason’s depiction of this magical world is magnificently well realized.”

—Jon Bjarki Magnusson, DV Daily


About Yonder

Yonder is a new imprint from Restless Books devoted to bringing the wealth of great stories from around the globe to English-reading children, middle graders, and young adults. Books from other countries, cultures, viewpoints, and storytelling traditions can open up a universe of possibility, and the wider our view, the more powerfully books enrich and expand us. In an increasingly complex, globalized world, stories are potent vehicles of empathy. We believe it is essential to teach our kids to place themselves in the shoes of others beyond their communities, and instill in them a lifelong curiosity about the world and their place in it. Through publishing a diverse array of transporting stories, Yonder nurtures the next generation of savvy global citizens and lifelong readers.


About the Author

Andri Snær Magnason is an Icelandic writer, born in Reykjavik on the 14th of July 1973. Andri has written novels, poetry, plays, short stories, essays and films. He studied Icelandic literature at the University of Iceland. His novel LoveStar got a Philip K. Dick Special Citation, the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire in France, and “Novel of the year” in Iceland. The Story of the Blue Planet was the first children’s book to receive the Icelandic Literary Award and has been published or performed in 35 countries. The Story of the Blue Planet received the Janusz Korczak Honorary Award in Poland 2000. Andri has collaborated with various artists. He has been active in the fight for preserving the nature of Iceland. His book Dreamland: A Self Help Manual for a Frightened Nation takes on these issues and has sold more than 20,000 copies in Iceland. He co directed Dreamland, a feature-length documentary film based on the book. Footage from and an interview with Andri can be seen in the Oscar Award winning documentary Inside Job by Charles Ferguson. His most recent book, The Casket of Time, has now been published in about 10 languages and was nominated as the best fantasy book in Finland 2016, along with books by Ursula K. le Guin and David Mitchell. Andri Snær lives in Reykjavík with his wife Margrét, four children, and a dog.


About the Translators

Bjorg-Andrew_Colour (Derek Linney).jpg

Born and educated in Reykjavík, Björg Árnadóttir has lived and worked in England since 1971; her British husband, Andrew Cauthery, is fluent in Icelandic. They have worked together for many years, translating both English texts into Icelandic and Icelandic texts into English. They have worked on a wide variety of manuscripts, including books on Icelandic nature and technical topics, as well as literature. Literary works in Icelandic include translations of Wind in the Willows for Iceland State Radio and A Map of Nowhere by Gillian Cross, for Mál og Menning. Works in English include three crime novels (House of Evidence, Daybreak, and Sun on Fire) by Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson for Amazon Crossing, and And the Wind Sees All by Guðmundur Andri Thorsson, published by Peirene Press in September 2018.