Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
beach reading
starry skies to read under
reading in nature
  • Location: Iceland, Stykkishólmur, Skálholt

The Glass Woman

The Glass Woman

Why a Booktrail?

1686: Set against the backdrop of the seventeenth-century Icelandic witch trials…

  • ISBN: 978-0718188979
  • Genre: Folklore, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

Iceland, 1686. The brutal, lava-scarred landscape can swallow a man without so much as a volcanic gasp.

Jón Eiríksson has just married his second wife in a year. But Rósa’s new home in the windswept village of Stykkishólmur is terrifyingly isolated – the villagers are suspicious of strangers and fearful of something which they will not name.

What is Rósa’s new husband secret, and why does the spectre of his first wife Anna haunt them so?

Travel Guide


The main setting for the novel. It’s the place of shadows and ice, tales of witchcraft and stories of Sagas which seep into the damp ground or the icy mounds which make up this landscape. Rosa is from here and it’s where the novel starts as she has to look for a husband. The air is cold yet thick with tales of witches and death:, legends, Sagas and religion:

” The village had whispered. of course: that is was the work of some witch with a grudge, peeved perhaps that he had banned all runes and the casting of spells, where previous bishops had openly read from the Sagas and the Bible alike.”

Skálholt is a historical site in the south of Iceland, at the river Hvítá


“Stykkishólmur is edged with mountains: like a cupped hand, they protect the village or shield it from preying eyes. Rocks jut out of the greenery: the bones of the soil, scrubbed clean by years of over-harvesting and tree-felling. They grey carcass of the earth peeping up, indecent and raw.”

Stykkishólmur is located in the western part of Iceland, in the northern part of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The two main industries here are fishing and tourism but it would have been very different in 1686 – not the hub of activity it is today.


This is the the area of crofts and rocky landscapes. “The further away from Skalholt she travels, the more everything blurs, as if the darkening land is casting a veil over her thoughts.”


“Drápuhlíðarfjall. Do not worry. It only threatens eruptions. Soemtimes, there is more smoke, sometimes less, but never any explosion. And we are standing on Helgafell. “It is talked about in…

|Laxdaela Saga. So, Gurthrun Osvifrsottir…”

“is buried at the foot of the hill, yes.”


Booktrailer Review

Susan @thebooktrailer

This is a historical novel mixed with fantasy and witchcraft

A haunting book set in Iceland, with  Stykkishólmur and Skálholt as the main settings

This is a novel to watch out as it captures the magic of a country, the culture and belief system of its time.

Read more on the BookTrail  blog

BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Glass Woman

Destination: Iceland, Stykkishólmur,  Skálholt Author/guide: Caroline Lea  Departure Time: 1686

Back to Results

Featured Book

Amuse Bouche

Eat before you open this book!

Read more