A former warrior caught between gods and priests must fight for the survival of his family in this dark epic fantasy debut, set in a harsh arctic world inspired by Scandinavian indigenous cultures.
On the forbidding fringes of the tundra, where years are marked by seasons of snow, humans war with immortals in the name of their shared gods. Irjan, a human warrior, is ruthless and lethal, a legend among the Brethren of Hunters. But even legends grow tired and disillusioned.
Scarred and weary of bloodshed, Irjan turns his back on his oath and his calling to hide away and live a peaceful life as a farmer, husband, and father. But his past is not so easily left behind. When an ambitious village priest conspires with the vengeful comrades Irjan has forsaken, the fragile peace in the Northlands of Davvieana is at stake.
His bloody past revealed, Irjan’s present unravels as he faces an ultimatum: return to hunt the immortals or lose his child. But with his son’s life hanging in the balance, as Irjan follows the tracks through the dark and desolate snow-covered forests, it is not death he searches for, but life.
The Tähtifantasia award for best translated fantasy in 2008 was given to Ellen Kushner for her novel Thomas Riiminiekka (Thomas the Rhymer), published in Finnish by Vaskikirjat. The award is given by the Helsinki Science Fiction Society.
The book was translated by Johanna Vainikainen-Uusitalo and published by Vaskikirjat. Vainikainen-Uusitalo was also the translator for Jeff VanderMeer’s City of Saints and Madmen, which won the Tähtifantasia in 2007. Ellen Kushner is the Guest of Honor of Finncon 2010 in Jyväskylä.
Finncon, Kaapelitehdas cultural centre, Helsinki , 10.–12.7.2009
Finncon is a science fiction and fantasy convention held since 1986, together with Animecon since 1999. During the last three years the two combined conventions have gathered over 6 000 visitors from Finland and abroad each year.
The David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy ceremony took place last Friday in London, England. The award went to Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski.
Blood of Elves was originally published in Poland in 1994, but it was translated into English in 2008.