The Guardian

‘A remarkable feat of imagination that transports the reader to 17th-century Iceland and Algiers. … This is an extraordinarily immersive read that emphasises the power of stories, examining themes of motherhood, identity, exile and freedom. Through her deft storytelling , Magnusson takes us on a journey that not only crosses continents, but encompasses tragedy and rich sensuality.’

Sunday Times

‘Moving, accomplished…Richly imagined and energetically told, The Sealwoman’s Gift is a powerful tale of loss and endurance.’

The Times Literary Supplement

‘Magnusson has found in the silences of the historical record the space for a novel that moves gracefully between what is known and what must be imagined…Much of the pleasure of reading The Sealwoman’s Gift is that of a good yarn well told.’

The Scotsman 

“An enthralling mixture of recovered history and the imagining of lost lives … this is the best sort of historical novel’

Press Association
‘Packed with detail and characters, Sally’s immersive prose and precise observations entwine you in the action and emotion of this dramatic tale. An absolute triumph of imagination.’

The Scotsman (interview by David Robinson)

‘Remarkably accomplished…The true story behind the novel is almost preposterously epic, yet she brings it to life by inhabiting the minds of her characters’

BBC Radio 2 Book Club
Featured title –
‘A really, really good read’

Mail on Sunday

‘Impressive… A rich, captivating work’

Sunday Express 11.2.18

‘Engrossing, atmospheric’

Radio Times 12.2.18

‘Sally Magnusson has turned this grim true story into a page-turner…beautifully told.’

Daily Mail 9.2.18

‘Sally Magnusson writes compellingly of the psychological and physical shocks of being uprooted. Impeccably researched, this is a poetic retelling of Icelandic history.’

The Herald (interview by Mark Smith)

‘Beautifully blends truth and fiction, reality and myth, fact and faith.’

The Herald (review)

‘An impressive debut from Magnusson who seems to have inherited her Icelandic ancestors’ talent for beguiling storytelling’

The Bookseller
‘A compelling read…While a historical novel, it also contains contemporary resonances, particularly in the way it examines how different people integrate into a society completely foreign to them’

Waterstones Book Blog
‘An astonishing novel that will stay with me for a long time…Ásta Thorsteinsdóttir is a truly remarkable and resourceful heroine’

Good Housekeeping

‘Compelling stuff’




‘The best sort of historical novel’

%d bloggers like this: