Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Casket of Time” as Want to Read:
The Casket of Time
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Casket of Time

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  513 ratings  ·  75 reviews
The Casket of Time is a fantastical tale of time travel and environmental calamity.

Teenage Sigrun is sick of all the apocalyptic news about the “situation” and, worse, her parents’ obsession with it. Sigrun’s family—along with everyone else—decides to hibernate in their TimeBoxes®, hoping for someone else to fix the world’s problems . But when Sigrun’s TimeBox® opens too e
Hardcover, 259 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Restless Books (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Casket of Time, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Casket of Time

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  513 ratings  ·  75 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Casket of Time
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Liked this much better than Magnason's award winning, The Story of The Blue Planet, probably for the depth of the inventive fairy tale and the moral of nothing good is easy. A young girl (Sigrun) awakens from a TimeBox®, that her parents and she used to await better times. She finds other kids and makes her way to Grace's house, where Grace asks for their help to awaken everyone. Most of the book is Grace telling the children the story of King Dimon's overprotection of Princess Obsidiana, follow ...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
At first I was going to give The Casket of Time 3 stars. I was even stuck in it and left it sitting for a few months (at least 3...) But eventually, as I came back, I realized that it's just blurbed wrong. The blurb doing the book a huge disservice, because the reader isn't getting what they expected. As soon as I realized that, I had no more problems with The Casket of Time and finished it in a couple of days. The primary problem for me with my expectations was that the blurb sort of makes ...more
K.J. Mecklenfeld
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked it. Interesting. Time travel fairy tale :-).
It made me curious about Andris' first children's book, The Story of the Blue Planet ( , which was the first children's book to received the Icelandic Literary Prize.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Interested in Time-Related Fairy-Tale Fiction
Two intertwining stories are told in this fascinating Icelandic children's novel, one within the other. Opening on a bright summer's day in our own contemporary world, the first story concerns a "situation" so dire that the entire human population stores itself away in time caskets, to wait for better days. When one of these caskets opens early, young Sigrun finds herself in a world slowly going to ruin, as its people remain in suspended animation. Together with a group of other awakened childre ...more
Jacqueline Thompson
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my new favorite book and one I will be recommending to everyone! It’s got that classic children’s book the adults should read vibe. It’s weirdly fitting for the COVID-19 situation happening currently though the “situation” can be applied to any crisis. Loved this book wholeheartedly.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous. A philosophical fairy tale for everyone.
Haley Yoesting 🌻
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-kindle
I agree with a previous reviewer in saying that this was marketed the wrong way. The synopsis leads you to believe that this is a Middle Grade adventure story. When really it’s a fairytale within a story most of the time. The fact that I went into this with different expectations threw me off while I was reading. Until I accepted that this was actually a unique retelling of the fairytale Snow White. The blurb has done a huge disservice to this wonderful book by portraying it as something it’s no ...more
3.5 stars

A queer tale--that's the best word I can put it. The story began in a modern time and suddenly switched to a fairy tale which turned out to be the main story. It took me a while to get used to it, and when things start to get interesting, the story went back to the modern time. The result is jarring.

The fairy tale started quite interesting, but became more and more absurd. Honestly, I don't know what to think about it. It's not a bad tale, but not a great one either.
Tonja Drecker
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a story within a story, this is an intriguing adventure with a message very fitting for today.

Everyone is concerned about the end of the world, but nobody knows how to 'fix' Earth and all of the messes humans made. Sigrun's family, like everyone else, decides to enter their Timebox and simply wait things out. Sigrun, however, accidentally wakes up early and ventures out to find the world in an unexpected state. Taken in by an elderly woman, Grace, Sigrun hears the tales of Obsidiana and a pri
Halldóra Jóhanna
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: iceland, children
After reading and re-reading The Story of the Blue Planet by Andri Magnason several times for my sons, I couldn't wait to get my hands on The Casket of Time. It turned out to be a perfect follow up to the Blue Planet, suited for a slightly older age group. An imaginative retelling of the Snow White fairytale, the book is a charming and thought-provoking fantasy. I read it with my 10-year-old son who loved every minute of it.
Jan 28, 2020 added it
Shelves: fiction
I really enjoyed The Casket of Time, and found it to be a stirring, thought-provoking book. Sigrun’s leap forward in time is a stunning example, the first of several, of the author’s brilliant imagination, with the simple concept in a why-hasn’t-anyone-thought-of-that turn. While the TimeBoxes themselves, made of spider silk, are hard to picture, the rest of the writing is clear as a movie. Even the absurdity – the magical kingdoms and creatures – all unfold in a realistic way.

The premise of pe
Karli Frandsen
This is a book in prose. It is a sort of fairy tale fantasy. At one point the novel switches to a story in a story and it was kind of confusing, but once I realized what was going on it was good. This is a fantasy story that kind of criticizes society in a strange way. The main character is Sigrun and she lives in a world of economic turmoil. Her parents buy boxes for the whole family that they saw advertisements for. These boxes are for people to get inside, and when they are inside them time s ...more
Kate Lawrie-Van De Ven
I read this to see if my advanced-reader 8-year-old would enjoy it and while there is a lot to recommend the project in concept, I was not won over by the execution of the book. It's a little bit post-apocalyptic and a little bit sleeping beauty. (And oddly I was reading it while also reading Station Eleven and new reports of the coronavirus pandemic so, maybe a bit of a perfect storm...)
I kept coming back to the thought that the telling was mean-spirited in some of its plot turns and underlying
Mikko Saari
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A magical story, all about time and how to use it. Would it be a good idea to skip time? In this novel, people have escaped the unpleasant economical situation to time capsules to avoid time passing until times are better – but with everybody in a time capsule, there's actually nobody out there to make the times become better.

Some children are out there, however, and hear a story from an old lady, about a king who wanted to rule the whole world. In order to rule even time, he got one time chest,
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
What if you could skip all of the rainy days, or Mondays, or February's, or major crises, and preserve the hours of your one precious lifetime for wonderful, worthwhile moments only?

This book did not turn out to be what I thought it was, based on its summary, but it was still a fun read, and I can understand why young adults around the world enjoy it. Be prepared for it to be heavy (i.e., almost entirely) "backstory," versus the contemporary plot line that bookends it, which is somewhat pitched
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: catalog
Interesting and beautifully told story. Really timely; kinda felt like a fairy tale told for the current moment of apathy, frustration, and hopelessness re: politics, economy, climate change. highly recommended for young adults of all ages.
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book suffered from poor editing or uneven translation or just poor writing. The story was expressed awkwardly. The sense of time and narration was very uneven. Contemporary characters were not well-developed or memorable. A quick read, but not one worth the time.
JV Austen
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this - unfortunately I did not. First, I thought it was going to be either a time travel novel or a dystopian novel. Or both. It is instead a mashed-up fairy tale. I'm not a fan of fairy tales.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: order, 2019
An interesting combination of dystopia and fairy tale. I would have liked a little more depth to the present-day parts. This would be good for a higher middle grade reader who wants something a little more challenging but without older content.
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Saw something in a trade journal (I'm a librarian) about the translation of this being published and had our children's librarian order this- glad I did! I read this in one afternoon. Got so wrapped up in the fairytale aspect that that I almost forgot the too-timely current day parts.
Ian Whitney
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This hit 2 of my reading goals: reading fiction for fun, reading fiction in translation.

A mix of dark fairy tale and darker satire. Engrossing, fun and beautiful.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I agree with other reviewers, the blurb misleading. This is a great adventure novel, inline with The Princess Bride. It weaves mythology and magical realism into a captivating tale.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Not my favorite book. A little dark for middle grade readers, a little implausible for YA.
Ms. Hartmann
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fairy-tale
Interesting retelling of Snow White? All in all, I want to recommend to my fifth and sixth graders, but a few parts were a little bit grotesque.
Bonnie Arriola
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Odd but enjoyable.
I sense this was written after the banking crash.
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just LOVED the book ...
Emily Mc
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lovely story and a great reminder.
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's a story within a story. Well-written and a good read, but a rather dark fairy tale.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Kokkáll
  • Skjáskot
  • Ye
  • Korngult hár, grá augu
  • Eyland
  • Svínshöfuð
  • Stofuhiti
  • Mið-Austurlönd: fortíð, nútíð, framtíð
  • Albert Frey
  • Reykjavík sem ekki varð
  • The Night of Wishes
  • Killer Pizza (Killer Pizza #1)
  • Summer Death (Malin Fors #2)
  • Scary Stories for Young Foxes
  • Echo Mountain
  • Wild Animals I Have Known
  • Someone to Remember (Westcott #6.5)
  • A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father
See similar books…
Andri Snær Magnason is an Icelandic writer, born in Reykjavik on July 14, 1973. An award winning author published in 35 languages. His most recent book is The Casket of Time. Andri has written novels, poetry, plays, short stories, essays and he has directed documentary films. His work has been published or performed in more than thirty countries. His novel LoveStar was chosen as “Novel of the year ...more

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
8 likes · 6 comments