Today is the day: Finland celebrates Kalevala Day in honor of the Finnish national epic, and the wait for another Finnish work deeply rooted in mythology is over: The Path of Eternal Winter by Niilo Sevänen is officially out now.
The Path of Eternal Winter has been turning heads since the news of its publication reached the public. Kultuuritoimitus magazine has listed the book in its “Best right now” collection, stating as follows:
Insomnium singer-basist Niilo Sevänen does not shy away from tough challenges in his literary production. His debut novel The Path of Eternal Winter (Gummerus, 2024) is the beginning of an ambitious, interesting fantasy saga. There are authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, George R.R. Martin, Steven Erikson and China Miéville whose level of skill and ambition is easier dreamed than done. […] Sevänen’s debut novel is a chilling and darkly romantic mood piece, which is carried forward with sufficient skill and depth to keep you looking forward to the sequel with great interest.
Sevänen has been interviewed by, among others, Savon Sanomat newspaper and Turun Sanomat newspaper. On Savon Sanomat newspaper, Sevänen commented on his debut and its background:
“My novel has elements of Finnish and Kalevala mythology, but also of German, Italian, Greek and Irish history, for example.” Sevänen’s novel has a long backstory. He first dealt with the subject in his short story Winter Gate. In 2007 the novella, which was awarded first prize in the Nova Novella competition, tells the story of how Vikings arrive on a mysterious island in the 800s and unleash something mysterious. Sevänen and his band Insomnium later made a theme album Winter’s Gate based on the same story. The ambitious 40-minute album consisted of a single track. Although Sevänen sneers that the idea initially sounded like commercial suicide, the record company gave the green light. The album, which saw the light of day in 2016, became Insomnium’s most successful to date.
Turun Sanomat newspaper highlights how Sevänen’s background work for the book has part of its roots in his studies in cultural history, and partly in a love for history and mythology that can be traced back to his childhood:
His [Sevänen’s] academic background is also evident in his debut novel, although the author says that he has been interested in history and mythology almost all his life, and in a way these two subjects form the framework of the whole work. The Path of Eternal Winter could trendily be called a historical fantasy novel, as Sevänen uses history and characters mainly as material for interesting plot developments.
We can’t wait for this title to start its journey into the world – congratulations to the publisher and the author, and stay tuned!