Land of Hidden Fires by Kirk Kjeldsen @KirkKjeldsen #Norway



Occupied Norway, 1943. After seeing an allied plane go down over the mountains, headstrong fifteen year-old Kari Dahlstrøm sets out to locate the wreck. She soon finds the cocky American pilot Lance Mahurin and offers to take him to Sweden, pretending she’s a member of the resistance. While her widower father Erling and the disillusioned Nazi Oberleutnant Conrad Moltke hunt them down, Kari begins to fall for Lance, dreaming of a life with him in America. Over the course of the harrowing journey, though, Kari learns hard truths about those around her as well as discovering unforeseen depths within herself.



I am just bowled over to how such an amazing story can fit into so few pages. In this book a young girl with every step she takes leaves behind everything that was the innocence of being a child through war time in Norway on a remarkable journey that will change some lives and end others. Not everyone can have a fairy tale ending.

Fifteen year old Kari  lives with her father that can not see past his own grief after losing his wife years before to be able to form any sort of relationship with her, except as provider of a roof over her head and food.  When she sees a small plane go down in the mountains she is determined to be first on the scene where she finds an American pilot stuck in a tree.   Lance realising that this girl could be his only chance of survival soon sweet talks her into helping him down and she in all innocence of day dreams, fairy tales and happy ever afters says she is part of the resistance and can get him over ruggered mountains in the heart of winter to the safety of Sweden.

OMG what a tremendous and perilous journey that not only has its battles with nature in the wintery mountains of Norway but also a determined German Officer and Nazi Oberleutnant Conrad Moltke hot on the pairs tails and gaining ground all the time along with his hot shot team of soldiers that are intent on capture of the American pilot and the traitor that is helping him.  Erling, Kari’s father has finally woken up to the fact that he has a daughter and he must find before the Nazis get to her. A race against time and the elements.

Wow, Wow, Wow,  what an outstanding story Kirk Kjeldsen tells with such vivid and crisp descriptions of this beautiful country that I could close my eyes and I was there. The contrasts then between such beauty and the ugliness of invasion was so very dramatic. If the beauty of this country wasn’t taking my breath then fear was. I can’t find the right words for how I felt because helpless and frightened just don’t do it.

I would say to anyone read this book because it is more of an experience than just reading words. Outstanding! I wish to thank Kirk Kjeldsen for a NetGalley link to this book which I have chosen to review.



Kirk Kjeldsen received an MFA from the University of Southern California and is currently an assistant professor in the cinema program at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. His first novel, “Tomorrow City,” was named one of the ten best books of 2013 by The New Jersey Star-Ledger. He also adapted the poetry of Tarjei Vesaas into the feature film “Gavagai,” which was directed by Rob Tregenza. He lives in Germany with his wife and two children.

the book is available on amazon at

4 thoughts on “Land of Hidden Fires by Kirk Kjeldsen @KirkKjeldsen #Norway

  1. I too was struck by the immediacy/directness of Kjeldsen’s prose – nothing extraneous litters the readers path – a style I particularly enjoyed. And the stark imagery, wonderful. We were actually lucky enough to have Kirk Kjeldsen visit Booklover Book Reviews, sharing with us the family story (and photos) that inspired him to write this novel.


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