Midwest Book Review: The Heir of Lemminkäinen!!

“Thought-provoking and absorbing…especially compelling epic fantasy.”– Donovan’s Bookshelf

Book II of the Far Northern Land SagaThe Heir of Lemminkäinen, continues an epic fantasy based on heroic figures in Finnish mythology and reflects David Allen Schlaefer’s long-standing interest in and studies of Finland’s folklore.

Readers who harbor a similar interest in folklore and myths won’t be daunted by the unfamiliar words and letters that pepper the story, and will find the diacritics, the attention to details that reflect how the peoples of Iron-Age Finland lived, and the adventures that embrace goblins, mortals, and mages to be thought-provoking and absorbing.

Under Schlaefer’s hand, the world of the Kalevala comes to life, continuing the rich saga that began in the first book, The Mark of the Bear Clan, as King Egan tries to unite seven disparate clans in a common endeavor to survive.

His efforts to assume command as Finland’s High King involve overcoming witches and magical creatures in powerful clashes, and unraveling the complex and sometimes twisted purposes of men.

Betrayal is the last thing he needs on his plate, but it’s the first thing that will truly challenge his mission and his heart.

While Egan confronts his destiny, the tale’s other protagonist, Ulla, embarks on her own journey to become a wizard. Both her budding love for Egan and her deep-rooted fear of loss complicate her efforts to live up to the ancient prophecy that foretold her pivotal role in the fight for the Far Northern Land’s freedom.

Schlaefer is a master at weaving Finnish mythology into the evolving story of a battle that tests all of the characters.

The action is constant and swift, the cultural and mythological references are challenging but engaging and emotionally compelling, and the story is replete with satisfying twists and turns that most readers won’t see coming.

Most of all, The Heir of Lemminkäinen charts the course of a leader and other characters who face challenges to their objectives, perspectives, and attempts to hold their worlds together.

The interplay of myths, magic, and minds is spiced with strong action, making The Heir of Lemminkäinen a fantasy epic that’s accessible to a wide audience. But it’s the reader who enjoys culturally-based fantasy and battles that test all of the characters, and who holds a special interest in Finnish legends and cultural influences who will find it an especially compelling read.