The Firebug of Balrog County

By David Oppegaard

Paperback$11.99Add Paperback to cart

A firebug has woken inside my heart. Dark times have fallen on remote Balrog County, and Mack Druneswald, a high school senior with a love of arson, is doing his best to deal. While his family is haunted by his mother’s recent death, Mack spends his nights roaming the countryside, looking for something new to burn. When he encounters Katrina, a college girl with her own baggage, Mack sets out on a path of pyromania the likes of which sleepy Balrog County has never seen before. A darkly comic tour-de-force, The Firebug of Balrog County is about legend, small towns, and the fire that binds.

About the Author(s)

David Oppegaard is the author of the Bram Stoker nominated The Suicide Collectors, And the Hills Opened Up, The Ragged Mountains, and Wormwood, Nevada. He holds a degree in English Literature from St. Olaf College and an MFA in Writing from Hamline University. David teaches fiction at Hamline University and the Loft Literary Center. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and can be found online at

  • Paperback ISBN: 9780738745435
  • Reading Age: from 12 to 18 years
  • Interest Age: from 12 to 18 years
  • Paperback dimensions: 5.25 x 8 in
  • Publication date: Sep 08, 2015
  • Rights/Sales territory: Worldwide
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 312
  • Imprint: Flux
  • Subjects:
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Action & Adventure / General
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Family / General
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings

Reviews of The Firebug of Balrog County:

"Take one angry 18-year-old, sprinkle with zingy narrative, and add a match." —Kirkus Reviews

"Beautifully written and full of honest characters ... This book is a winner." —VOYA

"In this biting coming-of-age novel ... Oppegaard doesn't offer an easy solution to Mack's problems, instead opting for a realistic and sensitive resolution that leaves on a hopeful note." —Booklist

"A great read." —School Library Connection

"Spectacular—and satisfying." —St. Paul Pioneer Press

"This darkly comic coming-of-age story with tremendously likable characters also packs a serious emotional punch." —StarTribune

"David Oppegaard's The Firebug of Balrog County kept me up all night. I liked Mack, the firebug, so much, I wanted to save him myself. I wanted to climb in the story and call the cops." —Geoff Herbach, author of Stupid Fast

Related Products

  • The Town Built on Sorrow

    Welcome to the strange mountain foothills town of Hawthorn, where sixteen-year-old Harper Spurling finds herself increasingly obsessed with the diary of a local 1860s pioneer…

  • The Last Faerie Queen

    After risking her life in the mortal world, the faerie princess Elora returns home to incite a revolution. Allied with the Bright Queen, Elora rallies…

  • Hardwired

    When Lucas tested positive for the warrior gene—a genetic abnormality believed to predispose humans to violence—he was shipped off to the Bake Shop, an impregnable…