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Land of Hidden Fires

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  111 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
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 hun ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Grenzland Press (first published May 30th 2013)
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Land of Hidden Fires was an interesting story about a young Norwegian teenager who helps a downed American soldier travel to safety. I found the narrative of the young teenaged girl to be authentic and interesting, however while I enjoyed the story it felt a little sparse at times.

A lot of the journey (which is essentially the entire story) was a bit vague. I wanted more details of the beautiful Norwegian wilderness, and the gritty realities of trying to survive in harsh conditions, both emotio
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Advertised as a "literary thriller", Land of Hidden Fires, seemed to me as a "coming of age" story. Set in Norway during the Second World War, the story begins when fifteen year old , Kari Dahlstrom, misrepresents herself as a member of the Resistance in order to help an American pilot cross over to Sweden. Kari is enamored with America( through the movies) and with the idea of being swept away by the American pilot and taken far away from her Norwegian home. Unbeknownst to Kari and her American ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it

A motherless child who disliked her father, a downed airplane during WWII, an escape, and a German officer searching for the downed pilot.

Kari did not get along with her father and simply just made it through each day. Her father was not like her. Kari was always curious about things. Her father just wanted to go on with his farming and take no interest in what was going on around him.

The day Kari saw a plane crash was the day she realized she had to do something for the pilot and the day she sa
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Thomas by: The author
I received this book from NetGalley after the author asked me to review his book. I found it to be a short, easy read, finishing it in two days. It takes place in the winter of 1943,in occupied Norway. A US air force plane crashes near a Norwegian farm run by a widower and his 15 year old daughter. She finds the pilot, stuck in a tree, and gets him down. She tells him that she is with the resistance(not true) and will take him to Sweden. She fantasizes about a romance with the pilot. The Nazis a ...more
Λίνα Θωμάρεη
Actually 2,5 stars.

Because it was too steep. It was almost unreal. Not so much the story itself as the actions of the characters. I mean how a 15-year-old girl decides to help a pilot and take him to Sweden, so without a second thought. Without telling anyone. Without doing any preparation and without losing time?!
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for review.

Oh, Norway. It's cold. It's snowy. It's got ice.

The best part about reading these Scandinavian novels is just how bleeping cold and blue and ice-like things are. I love the winter, and reading these books that feature people tromping through the wilderness in the snow really rocks my socks.

In this particular snow-trompin novel, Kari is a 15-year-old Norwegian girl in 1943. Norway is occupied. Things are dire. Kari is a resilient young wo
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is fast paced and exciting. It was easy to read in one fell swoop and it was a great read for a cold winter afternoon.

The book is set in Norway during World War II. Kari, a teenager, lives on a farm and has romantic dreams of someday going to America. Life is hard on the farm and the privations of the Nazi occupation only add to the burden. Kari sees an American plane go down. She tells her father about it and he tells her to leave it alone. Kari decides that she cannot and goes to che
Bonnye Reed
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
GNab I received a free electronic copy of this historical novel from Netgalley, Kirk Kjeldsen, and Grenzland Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all, for sharing your hard work with me.

This is one of those books that hook you from the get go. It is WWII and Norway has already been taken by the Germans. Life is hard and winter, always long, seems endless. Land of Hidden Fires is a fast read, and a good tale, but the descriptive phrases sing, and the beauty of the land is heart wring
Valerity (Val)
This was my first dip into the writing of Kirk Kjeldsen. It turned out to be a delightful experience. I have a recent fascination with Norway already, so when I found that the book is set there, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that I'd want to check it out. LAND OF HIDDEN FIRES was an easy book for me to get involved in, enjoying the storyline and the time period, all handled in a wonderfully descriptive writing style. It became a battle between wanting to finish the book to see how it e ...more
Diane Perry
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is a short read, and interesting in parts. I'm not sure if author was going for historical fiction or coming of age or maybe both. It has bits of everything in it. What I didn't find was a character I could truly warm up to. Kari is a head strong fifteen year old that sets out to explore a plane wreckage. This is 1943 and she is not liking her father much. Her father begans to look for her and we slowly learn little about him. ...more
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'He that lives on hope shall die fasting.’

Kirk Kjeldsen simply has it! Having worked through the hoops of preparation - an MFA from USC and serving as an assistant professor of cinematic arts at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts - Kirk lived in Shanghai, adapted the poetry of Yarjei Vesaas into a feature film, and has a résumé that reads like an actor's tryout for heavy movie roles. He now lives Essen,Germany with his family.

But to have all that background and then come to the
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, fiction
An allied plane goes down over a remote region in Norway. Kari Dahlstrom is out working on her family's farm when she sees it drop. Though her recently-widowed father forbids her to get involved, Kari investigates the crash anyway, and when she finds the pilot alive, she decides to help him cross the border into Sweden. Land of Hidden Fires is about their journey through the cold and unforgiving countryside as they try to avoid being captured by SS officers.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I would like to give this book a 3.5/5 Rating.

I want to thank NetGalley, the Publisher and the Author for my ARC copy for a fair and honest review.

This YA novel has a personal link to me. My Grandmother's family lived in Trondheim before and after the war, so getting a glimpse at the beautifully described scenery was almost magical to me. The Authors descriptions make it very easy to visualize the scenery and feel and see what that the characters face throughout the novel.

The story takes place d
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Kirk Kjeldsen, and Grenzland Press in exchange for an honest review.

This is a touchingly awkward, yet very interesting and original novel: historical young adult adventure with touch of Jack London stories, full to the brim of Scandinavian gloom.
There are the White Silence, icebound expanses of the Stjørdalen Valley and stern reticent people with 'hidden fires' inside, who spend their time together in silence while having intense
Susan Hampson
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-reads
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
The Word Nerdess
*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Overall, I think this book was a good debut novel, but it had some rough patches. I'll start with what I liked about this book.

I liked the way Kjeldsen describes the landscape. Yes, it's cold and snowy the whole time you're tagging along with the characters, but the way he describes it, especially the sky, is quite picturesque. Here's some examples:

"Erling arrived . . . as the storm clouds began to gather, bunching like bed
Dee Arr
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Full disclosure: I received a complimentary book from the author.

Kirk Kjeldsen’s “Land of Hidden Fires” begins as a story of one young girl’s thirst for adventure and what she does when she finds an opportunity. The book evolves into the individual stories of its characters, separate yet woven together as their lives join for a short moment in time. The author speaks through one of the characters and refers to the thoughts a person keeps hidden from others, “…invisible to one another and often
Buck Edwards
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is always that one book that comes at just the right time. Snowed in as I am, surrounded by two-foot drifts, I could see Kjeldsen's landscape simply by looking out my window. Or, as the author did himself, I could look back to my father, uncles and grandfathers who lead me through wintry woods in the north country when I was young. "A Land of Hidden Fires" brought all that back to me with vivid and anxious clarity.
Though young Kari Dahlstrom is the heroine of the adventure, it is more than
Schuyler Wallace
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Kirk Kjeldsen has both an easy and edgy quality to his writing as evidenced in “Land of Hidden Fires.” It’s a little book, easy to read, and yet lingers in the mind when completed. I attribute that to his characters, expertly drawn with qualities of strength and mousiness in each of his portrayals.

Fifteen-year old Kari Dahlstrφm witnesses an allied plane go down in the occupied Norwegian mountains, locates the American pilot, Lance Mahurin, and sets off on a mission to deliver him to freedom in
I received this book as a goodreads Kindle edition giveaway.

I found this book to be an engaging read. Set in rural Norway during the Nazi occupation, it centers on a young girl, Kari, who sees an Allied plane go down, and sets off during the night to investigate. Posing as a member of the Norwegian resistance, she determines to help him escape to safety in neutral Sweden.

We see their struggles, the pursuit by German soldiers, and also her father's attempt to reach her and bring her home to safet
Ken Fredette
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked that Kirk had a tough young woman with the guts to do things that a normal person would not have done. Crossing the river and saving her horse when it was going under the ice. Going into town alone with many Germans in it. Leaving the American pilot in the ending to go back to her father. Growing up in the story, not living in a daydream world. It's worth your time to read this book.
Zohar -
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Land of Hidden Fires by Kirk Kjeldsen is a novel taking place in Norway during World War II. Mr. Kjeldsen is currently the cinema program at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts.

Kari, a 15 year old Norwegian girl living under Nazi occupation finds a downed American pilot. It is March, 1943 and the war’s end doesn’t seem to be in sight. Kari bravely offers to escort the pilot over the frozen landscape to Switzerland.

Kari and Lance are pursued by a disgruntled German officer, Ka
Terry Tyler
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber's Review Team

3.5 stars

I love to read about adventures in icy northern wastes, so I was pleased to see this on the review team list. The book starts off in occupied Norway in 1943, when 15 year old Kari, who lives on an impoverished farm with widowed father Erling, sees an American plane go down several miles away. Despite wearing insufficient warm clothing and having only eaten dry bread, she walks miles through the snowy wastes to investigate, then pret
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
In 1943 Norway, 15 yo girl (Kari) poses as a member of the Resistance to help a downed American pilot (Lance) exit the German-occupied country. Will she be able to save him? Will her father be able to find her before it's too late?

This book was compared to The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, but in my opinion, the only thing in common with that amazing, 5 star read was that an American pilot was directed to safety. This is more a coming of age story than it was about the Resistance. Skip this one
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, history
I received a free electronic copy of “Land of Hidden Fires” by Kirk Kjeldsen via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review. No other consideration was offered, expected or received.

“Land of Hidden Fires” started off rather promising, and I found myself drawn into it from the start. It’s a fast read and the writing style is far from complex and very “factual”: it reminded of the “The Martian” by Andy Weir. But as I progressed disappointment grew, mainly about the lack of character development.
Doranne Long
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Land of Hidden Fires is a delightful read, very visual, with a captivating story! The title immediately makes me think of countries to the far north, frozen on surface, with molten lava flowing deep beneath. Kirk quotes a poem by Tarjei Vesass, describing the "surface is calm...with molten avalanches" below. Towards the end of the book, he describes people being "full of hidden fires, invisible to one another and often even invisible to oneself." Kirk's characters speak little, but speak volumes ...more
Hannelore Cheney
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
What fantastic book! Set in Norway during WWII, an American pilot is rescued by 15-year old Kari, taking them on a harrowing, dangerous trip to Sweden. Norway is occupied by the Germans and if the pilot is caught, he will be captured and most likely killed.
Kari is a courageous, tough girl, determined to save the young American, despite the danger involved and the fact she has left her home and distraught father who goes in search after her. A very tense, taught thrill ride that will keep you on
Polly Krize
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

When Kari, a young Norwegian girl, sees that an Allied plane has crashed in the forest near her home, she decides that she is the best person to help the injured pilot get to Sweden, away from the Nazis occupying her country. Against all odds, she fights weather, her fellow Norwegians, and even her father, to do what she feels is right. The writing in this book is simple yet highly engaging. The hidden reasons for human behavior ar
Janette Mcmahon
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting short story of one incident during WWII. I do like the way it is written and so focused. It takes place all within a few days, very little lead up to the incident of the downed pilot or follow up with the family/pilot afterwards. It appealed to me as a reader because of the intensity of one incident, no wasting of words. Would recommend to WWII enthusiasts or those readers who want something a little different.
Crystal Zavala
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, dnf
I only read about 75% of this book and decided not to finish it. I thought the story idea was good, but written too simply. It seemed like it could have been written for middle readers, but some of the topics were inappropriate for that. There also seemed to be characters that could have been interesting, but ended up being weak.
A good editor could probably do wonders for this book.
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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. He has also taught at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin (dffb) and the Polish National Film School in Łódź. His novel "Land of Hidden Fires" was named one of the ten best books of 2017 by the New ...more
More about Kirk Kjeldsen

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