The Magic Ring was Sigurd Hoels final novel but it had been in his thoughts for many years before he wrote it in 1958. In it he takes us to a remote village in Norway in the 1820s.
There we meet Hávarður from Telemark, who marries the widow Rannvá. She is beautiful and many farmers in the area had planned to get hold of her.
The man from out of town gets the girl and the farm and becomes the subject of hate. He has entered an area which has been theirs for centuries. Some show him directly how much they hate him, while others are more subtle in their malice.
Hávarður has studied at an agricultural academy and wants to modernize the farming process. He faces a lot of opposition, both from the villagers and as time passes also from his own wife. As this happens his sense of guilt prevents him from doing that which he most wants to. It culminates with him being charged with a murder which he has not comminted but which he inderectly feels responsible for.
The motive is based on a story which Hoel heard as a child.
The Magic Ring is a novel about evil, pettiness and weakness.