The Charm of Ice

Leena Lehtolainen

Original title: Jään lumo

Author: Leena Lehtolainen

Published: 2016

Publisher: Tammi

Genres: General Nonfiction, Memories & Biographies

Pages: 200

Reading material:

Finnish edition
English synopsis

The Charm of Ice tells the stories we don’t see

Pain, connection, justice.  These are some of the eight themes The Charm of Ice team spoke about with eighty star ice skaters around the world.  The Finnish trio, bestselling fiction-author Leena Lehtolainen, long-time figure skating journalist and editor-in-chief of the Finnish Figure skating magazine Kaisa Viitanen and globally renowned figure skating photographer and Sports Journalist of the Year 2016, Elina Paasonen interviewed and photographed Olympic- and World Champions and other skaters with interesting stories to tell across three different continents.

They met skaters in different conditions: off-season practices, during the ISU competitions, before and after glamorous ice shows.  The hard, daily life, the nerve-wracking championship battles and the glittery glamour of the shows were revealed to us by the intimate interviews and the masterful and captivating photos taken exclusively for this book.  Many of the skaters were surprised about the depth of the questions, many never asked of them before. A wide international community of figure skaters and coaches forms a kaleidoscopic view to the world of figure skating.

In The Charm of Ice the reader learns what kind of relationship the skater has with the ice; how you build a connection with your partner; and how one learns to endure the constant pain.  It tells how a competitor accepts being constantly judged, and the specifics a figure skater has to fight.  The Charm of Ice reveals the amount of physical strength the skaters have to achieve and the pressures they endure.  But all in all, the sport is about the charm, and the reader can experience it through their favourite skaters’ stories.

Elina Paasonen’s photographs form a unique collection, differing significantly from basic newspaper feature photos.  Paasonen, a former synchro-skating world medallist herself, can capture ’the’ moment of the program or off-ice setting in a unique and moving way, and many skaters are fans of her work.

Interviewees in the book include: Mao Asada, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, Kiira Korpi, Daisuke Takahashi, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, and Ashley Wagner.

Download reading materials

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Tammi (orig.)
JAPAN: Sunmark Publishing Inc.

About author

Leena Lehtolainen

Leena Lehtolainen is the top female crime author in Finland: her new titles always head straight to #1 on the Finnish bestseller lists.

Lehtolainen created her successful protagonist, detective Maria Kallio, in 1993. Having already featured in 16 novels and a complete TV series, a new Maria Kallio TV reboot series was launched in Fall 2021 on C More. Lehtolainen’s novels have been translated into 30 languages and have sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide.

And just like the events in Bodyguard, a that takes the heroine Hilja Ilveskero all around Europe, Lehtolainen’s own work takes her to book festivals, exhibitions and other events across the globe.

Leena Lehtolainen has also published outside the crime genre; her book The Charm of Figure Skating was voted sports book of the year 2010 in Finland, and A Life in Six Scenes showed her return to literary fiction.

The Crossing of the Green Dragon is her first title for YA audiences.

In her free time, Lehtolainen enjoys all kinds of music and follows lynx trails in the forests – just like Maria Kallio.


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