Rökkurhæðir (Twilight Heights) is a small, picture-perfect neighborhood on the outskirts of the city of Sunnuvík (Sunnyvale). Once it was just a small village nestled under the hill. Today, in this old part of Rökkurhæðir, winding streets are fringed with crooked houses, mostly hidden behind tall sheltering trees.
The new part of town is very different. The trees are too small to shade the houses from the sun and the hill is too distant to offer shelter. At the foot of the hill lies an apartment complex called Skuggadalir (Shadowvale), an apt name, as it is shaded most of the day, all year round. Near the top of the hill are Rústirnar (the Ruins), built decades ago as a luxury development with apartments and the foundations for sprawling mansions with a spectacular view of the bay. Now they lie
in ruins that nature does its best to erase from sight and memory. The children of Rökkurhæðir are forbidden to explore there, but they have all made a secret visit at one time or other. Something momentous, strange and terrifying happened there. Many people do not dare mention it, others allude to terrorism or to the supernatural. Some try to explain it away with comfortable, logical explanations. But the kids know better.

Rökkurhæðir –the series
Seven of the titles are stand alone, as each tells a story that begins and ends within the book. Yet all the stories are interconnected, located in the same small neighborhood–Rökkurhæðir. Except for a few youngsters from Sunnuvík, the main characters all attend the local high school, their siblings attend the local elementary school and kindergarten, and their parents work in town–at the kindergarten, coffee shop, post office.
The main character of one book may appear as a minor character in other books. As the stories all take place during the same time frame, an event in one book may appear in another book from the another character’s viewpoint. Each book can be read alone, but the big picture emerges when it is read as a piece of a larger puzzle.
After book seven is published, the series will conclude with a duology that ties most of the loose ends and reveals what is actually happening in Rökkurhæðir.

The Books:

Rustirnar3D

Rökkurhæðir 1: Rústirnar (The Ruins)
Fourteen-year old Anna Þóra, a grade 8 pupil at Rökkurskóli, is on student council, plays handball, takes dance, and goes skiing whenever she can. What suffers is her homework and her grades. When a mysterious girl offers to help her out, doing her homework and sometimes going to class for her, Anna Þóra agrees to her part of the bargain, to guess the “girl’s” name before spring exams. She thinks she knows the name and what is going on, as it is all told in an ancient folk tale.
Of course things do not go as planned and she finds herself in way over her head.
German rights sold to: Arena Verlag.

OttulundurRökkurhæðir 2: Óttulundur (Duskylane)
Vigdís, a grade 9 pupil in Rökkurskóli, is an only child, living alone with her mother since her father passed away some years before. Grandma’s house in Óttulundur has always been her second home, but suddenly she feels she is not entirely welcome there, as if something in the house wants her gone. Haunted by strange dreams and evil eyes, for the first time in her life she is afraid. A secret from her childhood is unveiled. But is it safe for her to know?
German rights sold to: Arena Verlag.

KristóferRökkurhæðir 3: Kristófer (Christopher)
It is springtime in Rökkurhæðir and Kristófer, who is just finishing grade 9, can finally take his parkour-practice outside with his friends. Looking for a suitable place to train, he finds the ideal spot–the forbidden Ruins! While exploring, Kristófer finds the perfect birthday present for his little sister, but he has no idea how it will change his life and the lives of everyone he loves.
German rights sold to: Arena Verlag.
Sample translation available in English

Ofridur_3DRökkurhæðir 4: Ófriður (Unrest)
Rökkurhæðir is aflame with discord and violence. Matthías recently moved to Rökkurhæðir. He is having a hard time adjusting to his new school and feels that the other students and teachers are overly nice, bending over backwards to welcome him. But at the same time, he experiences an escalation of fights, violence and unexplained accidents.
Ingibjörg is used to life in Rökkurhæðir, but when she meets Matthías, she starts to see her town through his eyes. Together they make connections between the incidents and a bigger picture emerges that is more horrifying than they could have imagined.
German rights sold to: Arena Verlag.

gjofin


Rökkurhæðir 5: Gjöfin 
(The Gift).
Þórhallur, in grade 9, lives in a small apartment with his mother. He is not very happy since his parents’ recent divorce. As Christmas approaches, he hopes they will make amends by giving him the presents he deserves, but he is sorely disappointed. Soon, he realizes there is a lot more to the gift from his mother than he first thought–and suddenly, he is kneedeep in something that is totally beyond his control.


vokumadurinnSmall
Rökkurhæðir 6: Vökumaðurinn 
(The Watchman)
Pétur Kristinn has just moved into one of Rökkurhæðir’s oldest houses, where horrible events took place shortly before. Although the house itself welcomes the family, he notices strange goings-on in his backyard and meets a girl who is invisible to everyone else. He uncovers more of Rökkurhæðir’s strange history and
what might be at the root of all the strange happenings there.

 

Rokkurhaedir3dRökkurhæðir 7: Atburðurinn (The Event)
After a battle with a strange creature, Margrét ends up in the past; in the department house that today is known as The Ruins. While she searches for ways to get back home, she experiences firsthand how the evil sets in and grows in the building. Gradually she begins to understand why the adults always talk about The Ruins in lowered voices. This is the last of the stand-alone books. The series will conclude with a trilogy called The End.

 

 

MartaBirgittaAbout the authors
Authors Marta Magnadóttir and Birgitta Hassell have always loved books with mystery, horror and fantasy elements. Their academic research revealed a limited selection for this kind of book for young readers in Iceland. Brainstorming about what they would have read themselves at that age led them to the small town of Rökkurhæðir, the fictional home of their characters.