Mervi Heikkilä (s.1974) is a multifaceted fantasy writer. She writes mainly for children and young adults, but also short stories for adults.
In her stories Heikkilä likes to combine Finnish folklore and realism. Her stories can also be situated in a weird, mythical world with witches, old Finnish gods and supernatural animals. Her characters often meet death, metamorfosis, difficult choises or unhappy love. There is generally a strong, ominous tone and distinctive ideas. The nature is always in a big role and northern woods both hide ja comfort characters when needed.
Louhi series is modern Finnish urban fantasy at its best. The main character is Roona, a 15-year old girl with the ability to communicate telepathically with beasts. The three books of this series combine everyday realism, the Finnish national saga of Kalevala and historical witch trials to form a fast-paced, exciting adventure. The tale is also spiced with romance, thoughts on ecological themes and the struggles of puberty and growing up. The writing style, length and gripping plot make it a good choice also for young people who seldom read books.
Louhi series has been received well by literary critics and bloggers alike, and the first book, The Covenant of Louhi, was chosen as a candidate for the Topelius Award.