Siri Pettersen (1971), lovingly labeled ‘Norway’s Fantasy Queen’ by the press, was born under the northern lights, with a severely overactive imagination. It survived countless attempts at numbing from the regular world, rendering her an expert escapist in a wide range of media, such as web, illustration, text and comics.
In October 2013, she launched her debut ‘Odin’s Child’, the first book in ‘The Raven Rings’ trilogy, changing the Norwegian fantasy landscape forever. The series quickly became a bestselling phenomenon, harvesting numerous awards, nominations and critical acclaim.
‘Odin’s Child’ was the first fantasy or YA title ever to be nominated for the prestigious Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize. Extraordinarily, all the other books were also nominated. Among Siri’s awards are the Norwegian Fable Award, The South Literary Award and The Havmann Award.
Reviewers were profoundly excited: «An impressive fantasy universe […], high above many others in the overpopulated fantasy genre», said VG, a main Norwegian paper. «A future classic. I have rarely been as impressed as I am by her drive, her storytelling abilities and visual qualities», said DN, Sweden’s biggest paper.
Readers embraced ‘The Raven Rings’ with a fierce passion. They are an ever-expanding crowd of fantasy lovers from around the world, creating artwork, craft, cosplay and tattoos from her books. Die-hard fans have a remarkable age span, the mark of crossover literature.
Siri grew up in the north, in the county of Troms, in the land of winter darkness, and in summer: the perpetual midnight sun. It is a landscape made for adventure. Kids are still told that the northern lights will come and get them if they wave. Maybe a residue of the exceptionally diverse mythology of the Vikings?
Places, names and landscapes in ‘The Raven Rings’ are colored by this old world, and by historical cultural clashes that still define us today. Characters are torn between order and chaos, old gods and new, freedom and tyranny, even if the edges are blurred and it’s never black or white.
The books are inspired by Nordic culture, climate, and mythology, but are far from restricted by it. The worlds are unique, complex and complete on their own.
The Norwegian landscape, with its misty mountains diving into a furious sea, was an endless source of inspiration for Siri. The ocean became her refuge, a place of infinite possibilities, infusing her with a deep longing for something more, for distant shores, the unseen and unknown. Fantasy was never a choice for her, it was the only option. She has a profound love and respect for the genre, often ranting about its vital function for coming generations. On good days, she can even do it without cursing like a northerner.
‘The Raven Rings’ has been maturing in the head of the author for more than a decade. Exploring subjects like xenophobia, faith and class division, this is epic fantasy with a purpose. The classic elements of fantasy literature have been reinvented. The protagonist is a resourceful, female outcast, living with a savage Northerner who deals drugs. She is not "chosen" and has no special powers. In fact, what sets her apart is the terrifying fact that she lacks the powers that everyone else has.
Siri has worked as a designer for many years, but since her sensational debut, she’s been writing full time, devoted to her fantastical worlds.