The Horned God

Magdalena Hai

Original title: Sarvijumala

Author: Magdalena Hai

Published: 2023

Publisher: Otava

Genre: Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Pages: 162

Reading material:

English sample and synopsis

Finnish edition

Creeping horror for the YA audience

✓  Winner of the Finlandia Prize for children’s and YA literature of 2023! Nominated for the Topelius Prize of 2024!

✓ Rights sold in 7 languages & a bestseller in Finland with over 6,000 copies sold

✓  Magdalena Hai’s books have been sold in over 27 territories and she has been nominated for several prestigious awards (Finlandia Prize, Nordic Council Literature Prize)

✓  Magdalena Hai is the winner of the Finnish Literary Export Prize (2017) and Kaarina Helakisa Prize (2020)

When death touches your life, everything changes.

Lauri wakes up in the hospital after a fatal car crash and he doesn’t remember much about it. Mom is dead and now life has changed drastically.

When Lauri starts his slow recovery in a small town at his aunt’s house, he has an unpleasant feeling that everything is not right. The dead don’t stay dead and the beautiful neighbor Vilja-Maaria doesn’t want to live. When an ominous creature with antlers appears behind the window, Lauri begins to see nightmarish dreams that feel too real.

17-year-old Lauri wakes up in hospital after a car accident. His mother has deceased, and father is in a coma in hospital. The horror story beautifully links the descriptions of recovering from a big loss, the grueling presence of awful things, the guilt caused by mistakes and the act of letting go. The novel which influences the reader on many levels also describes in a lively matter the everyday life of teenagers, experiences of mental health struggles, and racism. Below the horror elements there is an undercurrent that ties people together. At times in a painful way.

– The 2024 Topelius Award Jury

Download reading materials

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
ESTONIA: Päike & Pilv
HUNGARY: Metropolis
NORWAY: Gursli Berg Forlag


About author

Magdalena Hai

Magdalena Hai is an award-winning author, lover of cross-genre fiction and all things strange. Her fiction often combines elements of sci-fi, fantasy and horror.

Her Little Shop of Nightmares series has been sold to 30 territories around the world. Among Hai's many accolades are winning the Finlandia Prize for children's and YA literature and the Finnish Literary Export Prize, and being nominated  the Nordic Council Children & Young People's Literature Prize.

Besides being an author, Hai teaches writing and is an active member and editor in the publishing co-operative Osuuskumma.


2023, Chapter Books (6-9 Years)

Magdalena Hai

Little Shop of Nightmares 4: The Crystal Skull

2023, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Magdalena Hai

The Horned God

2021, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Magdalena Hai

The Spell of Iset

2021, Chapter Books (6-9 Years)

Magdalena Hai

Little Shop of Nightmares 3: Sticky the Horrible Snowman

2020, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)

Magdalena Hai

Miss Swift’s Weird and Wonderful House

2019, Chapter Books (6-9 Years)

Magdalena Hai

Little Shop of Nightmares 2: The Mystery of the Missing Teeth

2018, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Magdalena Hai

The Third Sister

2018, Chapter Books (6-9 Years)

Magdalena Hai

Little Shop of Nightmares 1: The Terrible Tickling Powder

2017, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)

Magdalena Hai

Grumblebelly Cat

2012, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)

Magdalena Hai

The Beggar Princess