In preparation for my next Finnish exam, I’ve been devouring teen literature; the action is usually breathless enough to compensate for my slower reading pace. But when I went to take Ilkka Auer’s Ice-Witch ones back and get As Red as Blood of the library, it was checked out. All two dozen copies of it. I would have to go on the waiting list for a fortnight.
To read it in English, you don’t have to wait at all; it was published last week.
If you can’t wait that long, you can at least watch the trailer (my translation of the text below)…
Who learnt to be afraid.
Fairy tales don’t start like that.
But other, darker stories do…
Natalia Smirnova is lying dead on the snow bank, in a pool of red.
In the darkroom, Lumikki Andersson finds blood-soaked 500 euro notes.
The Tampere winter is the coldest in years.
And the nightmares are blacker…
You can run but you can’t hide.
Not surprisingly, because of its 17-year-old heroine and Nordic location, the series has been compared to Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. The heroine’s name, Lumikki, is Finnish for Snow White. As you might guess, volumes 2 and 3 are called As White as Snow and As Black as Ebony. The translator, Owen Witesman, specialises in crime and fantasy literature.
The author, Salla Simukka, won the Topelius Prize last year for her previous young adult literature, and her Snow White Trilogy is being translated into dozens of languages. She is based in Tampere, the post-industrial and studenty “Finnish Manchester”, which is where this series is set.