2021 Tähtifantasia Award

The Helsinki Science Fiction Society has announced the winner of the 2021 Tähtifantasia Award, given for the best fantasy book published in Finnish during the previous year.

  • Margaret RogersonKirjojen tytär [Sorcery of Thorns]; Translated into Finnish by Mika Kivimäki. Published by Karisto.

From the citation, via Google Translate:

The events of Margaret Rogerson’s novel The Daughter of Books (Sorcery of Thorns, 2019) take place in an alternative 19th century. Elisabeth Scrivener, 16, has grown up in the Great Library, where she has been raised to be a book keeper. The library contains demonological books with their own consciousness. A loose spell book is dangerous and can turn into a demon, or malefic. Elisabeth manages to destroy the runaway malefic, but ends up being wrongly charged with the murder of a senior librarian.

Inexperienced but tenacious, Elisabeth has to fight a network of intrigues that threatens the whole world. As his allies, he gets an enigmatic young wizard, Nathaniel Thorn, and his demon servant Silas.

The daughter of the books is an immersive adventure fantasy with an emotional connection to the personal characters. The narration is carried by a witty humorous dialogue, a natural romantic spark, an interesting world building and a non-stop pace.

Rogerson’s Gas Lantern Fantasy is a novel for young adults with no upper age limit. It is shamelessly entertaining and draws on the tradition of adventure books, but is a modern work aimed at today’s reader.

The daughter of the books talks about the struggle between good and evil and the importance of selflessness and unyieldingness. People who seem to have little in common can find each other. As important as the struggle for justice is overcoming one’s own prejudices.

The author has created a fresh combination of ingredients found to be good. Rogerson describes interestingly what price people are willing to pay for magic and what is ultimately important in life. Mika Kivimäki’s Finnish translation is of uniform quality.

The award has been presented for 15 years. Previously, only fantasy books translated into Finnish were considered but this year for the first time novels originally written in Finnish also were eligible, and the winner is one of those works.

The award jury is composed of critics Jukka Halme, and Aleksi Kuutio, Risingshadow.net representative Osmo Määttä, and book blogger Niina Tolonen.

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