The Bear’s Bride

Reading material

English sample & synopsis
Finnish edition

Original title: Karhun morsian

Published: 2018

Publisher: Like

Class/genre: Fantasy & S/F

Pages: 390 pp.


Winner of the speculative fiction writing contest of Tähtivaeltaja magazine and Like Publishing

The prize-winning debut about the ancient Finnish bear myth and gendered power.

The Bear’s Bride is a spellbinding novel about two women, Aslaug and Freydis, from two villages in the far North. They say their prayers and leave their sacrifices for the Great Bear to keep their villages under its protection, even when the ancient ways of worship are under a looming threat. Unbeknownst to each other, they seem to be sharing not only a fate, but also a past. Will they succumb to what future has in store for them, or fight for their right to choose their own destinies?

The novel draws inspiration from Finnish mythology and Viking history and tackles the themes of free will and gendered power structures. With lyrical and serene language, Törmänen transfers us to a time and place that never were – but still feel so familiar.

The Bear’s Bride is a fascinating, multi-layered fantasy novel which draws inspiration from the Finnish bear mythology. With delicate references and details the author has succeeded in creating characters that are bound in primordial Finnish heritage and at the same time ageless archetypes with their wants and needs.” – Jukka Halme, juror of the speculative fiction writing contest of Tähtivaeltaja magazine and Like Publishing

”Myth and history mix in Katja Törmänen’s unique narrative art.” – Kaleva newspaper, Finland

”All in all, The Bear’s Bride is one of the most rewarding Finnish fantasy novels I’ve read. It weaves a dense and smooth story of recognizable human issues and successfully uses Northern history in the world-building.” – Muissa maailmoissa literary blog

“Törmänen knows how to deliver the story, which has just the right amount of surprising twists which the reader doesn’t expect.” **** — website

“Despite its rough issues, The Bear’s Bride is a book that draws you into a fascinating, somber world.” – Eniten minua kiinnostaa tie blog

“Törmänen has written an at times breath-takingly fast-paced book set in the Viking world” – Paperisiivet blog

“A fine and engaging adults’ fantasy novel.” – Kirjahilla blog

“The language is beautiful and rich.” – Geekgirls website

“The novel successfully combines historical details, fantasy and old beliefs.” – Evarian kirjahylly blog

”The story of the book uses Finnish and Nordic mythology in a fluent and engaging way.” – Kirjasähkökäyrä blog


Katja Törmänen

KATJA TÖRMÄNEN is a history teacher by training and a writer by profession. She has also studied and taught creative writing. She lives in Oulu, Northern Finland.


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