The Circle (novel)

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The Circle
The Circle (Strandberg and Elfgren novel - cover art).jpg
Author Mats Strandberg and Sara Bergmark Elfgren
Original title Cirkeln
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Genre Young-adult fiction, Urban fantasy, Horror
Publisher Rabén & Sjögren (Swedish), Random House (English)
Publication date
April 2011 (Sweden), June 2012 (United Kingdom)
Media type Print (Paperback and hardback)
Pages 516 (hardback)
Followed by Eld

The Circle (Swedish title Cirkeln) is a Swedish young adult fantasy novel written by Mats Strandberg and Sara Bergmark Elfgren. It is the first part of the Engelsfors trilogy. The novel takes place in a fictional rural town in Bergslagen in central Sweden and follows a group of teenage girls with little in common who discover that they are witches chosen to save the world from an otherwordly evil. In addition to the fantasy theme, the novel also uses tropes of horror fiction, psychological realism and the unreliable narrator. The novel has been sold for publication in 21 different languages in addition to Swedish.[1] Random House released the English translation in the U.K. on June 7, 2012, and in other English-speaking countries during the summer of 2012.[2]

The novel won Bokbloggarnas litteraturpris which is awarded by major Swedish book bloggers,[3] as well as Bokjuryn, where over 30,000 Swedish children and young adults vote for their favourite books,[4] and it was nominated for the August Prize youth award in 2011.


The novel follows the six "chosen ones" Minoo, Rebecka, Vanessa, Anna-Karin, Ida and Linnea, all of whom are first-year students at the same secondary school. Ida and Linnea are not featured as point of view characters in the novel for thematic and narrative purposes. The character soon come off as unreliable narrators as their description of themself and other characters don't match each other such as Minoo's comments on Rebecka's beauty and Anna-Karin's on her own weight. The apparent suicide of Linnea's "brother in all but blood" Elias becomes the start for a series of strange events in the town.


  • Minoo - A teacher's pet who secretly admiers Linnea for her outspokeness. She is the one who discovers Elias's body by accident together with Linnea.
  • Rebecka - A girl with a history of eating disorders.
  • Anna-Karin - A girl who lives with her mother and grandfather on a farm. She thinks of herself as fat and dreams of becoming a veterinary physician.
  • Vanessa - A partygirl who only dates older, more "mature" boys.
  • Linnea - A gothgirl and a social outcast. She is described as looking like a manga character and has a brother-sister–like relationship with Elias.
  • Ida - A popular girl and a bully. Is secretly in love with Gustav.
  • Nicolaus - The school janitor who knows nothing of his past other than that he is supposed to help the Chosen Ones.
  • Adriana Lopez - The school principal and an agent of the mysterious "Council".
  • Gustav - The boyfriend of Rebecka.
  • Elias - An emo with a history of self-abuse who has a brother-sister–like relationship with Linnea. He is the point of view character in the first chapter and is forced by a sinister force to commit suicide. He is often thought of by the Chosen Ones.
  • Max - A handsome teacher with whom Minoo is secretly in love.
  • Wille - Vanessa's stoner boyfriend. Linnea's ex-boyfriend.
  • Matilda - The original Chosen One who was burned to death 400 years ago during the time of the Swedish Witch Trials.

Critical reception[edit]

Cirkeln received positive reviews in Dagens Nyheter,[5] Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå[6] and Skånska Dagbladet.[7]

Film adaptation[edit]

A film adaptation was to be produced by Filmlance with Levan Akin set to direct and Sara Bergmark Elfgren as script writer. The production was put on hold due to disagreements between the authors and Filmlance. Akin left the project as well.[8] The details remain unrevealed.[9]

Benny Andersson of ABBA has announced that he will produce a film adaptation.


External links[edit]