Sir Julius Vogel Award winner

2013 Sir Julius Vogel Award winner:
best youth novel


The Prince of Soul and The Lighthouse

The Prince of Soul and The Lighthouse by Fredrik Brounéus is a comic sci-fi novel set in Otago and Southland. It follows the adventures of a high school student who discovers that he may be responsible for the end of the world, and is the only person who can prevent it. More importantly, though – does Kaisa like him, and is there any chance that his grandfather will just accept that he’s dead and let him get a decent night’s sleep?

Fredrik is a Swedish writer who has lived in Dunedin since 2009. His previous books include a children's thriller and a young adult pop novel, both of which were published in Swedish.

What happens when we die?

This has been the third question on mankind's FAQ list since the dawn of time (numbers one and two being: Is this edible? and Excuse me, would you care to breed?).

I know what happens. Believe me, I'd rather not. But I do.

There is a lighthouse, and it guides our souls along the narrow path to being reborn as humans. It's the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, as my undead granddad and the Tibetan special mission monk in my kitchen have kindly told me, there's a problem with the lighthouse. And if the world is to be saved, someone needs to fix it.

Which is where I come in: George Larson, eighteen years old. Who could possibly be better suited to save the world?

Well, almost anyone. Especially as being a teenage guy is nothing at all about question three but all about questions one and two.

And really, that's complicated enough as it is.

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Praise for The Prince of Soul and The Lighthouse

Winner of the 2013 Sir Julius Vogel Award for best youth novel

“Stunningly beautifully written – humorous, mad, and absolutely wonderful.” – BJT, Sweden

“Quirky, colourful, and speckled with confetti-style humour.” – Landfall

“Swedish he may be, but Brounéus comes perilously close to having written the great New Zealand visionary fiction novel... a rollicking adventure – humorous and as exciting as an Indiana Jones escapade.” – Sunday Star-Times

“Great characters... laugh out loud material... just brilliant.” – Radio New Zealand



“Hilarious action and deep philosophical discussion. Reincarnation has never been treated like this before.” – Dominion Post

“Very clever, very funny and very enjoyable... bodes very well for the future of New Zealand publishing.” – Herald on Sunday

“An intriguing blend of sci-fi, humour and adventure... Awesome. High five!” – Herald Weekend

“Brounéus nails his characters... A great read, for young and old souls alike.” – Metro

“This title was up there with the best in YA fiction, one that I hope gets a wider audience this year because it was SO GOOD.” – BookieMonster.co.nz

“The intended audience for this novel is quite plainly young adults, but there’s plenty here to entertain the adult reader who is looking for something a bit different to brighten their day.” – Novazine

“A funny, exciting and fast-paced tale... An excellent read, and the climax is a cracker.” – Dunedin Star

“A lot of fun... And best of all, there were no sparkly vampires.” – Southland Times

“A laugh out loud, energetic story with real insights into the human condition.” – Around the Bookshops

Story: “quirky, lovable”; protagonist: “witty and embarrassingly naïve”; love interest: “vomit-worthy” – Critic

“Fun, fresh and highly readable.” – Tearaway

“A metaphysical thriller that both delights and inspires.” – Fiction for a New Age

“A terrific story; funny, original and surprising.” – Fleur Beale

“Quirky, funny and wise.” – Mandy Hager

“If the Dalai Lama and Terry Pratchett collaborated on a novel, it might read something like this.” – Tim Jones

“A New Zealand novel for young adults that wasn't all bleak futures and desperate hand wringing.” – SFFANZ Reviews

“A fun, quirky and well-paced YA read that I believe will also be enjoyed by older readers.” – Helen Lowe