photo credits: Bjarne Thune - CC-BY-SA-3.0
Margit Sandemo (née Underdal, 23 April 1924 – 1 September 2018) was a Norwegian-Swedish historical fantasy author. She had been the best-selling author in the Nordic Countries since the 1980s, when her novel series of 47 books, The Legend of the Ice People, was published. She also wrote many other book series such as Häxmästaren and Legenden om Ljusets rike.
Typical features for works of Margit Sandemo are among other things history, fantasy, romance, suspense and supernatural phenomena. The plots of her books are often very complex and meandering, and continue from one book to another. In the central role are distinct amulets, old writings and symbols, which the main characters decipher in order to solve riddles stage by time, while fighting against evil powers. The events of the majority of her novels take place in Europe in the Middle Ages and in the beginning of Modern Times, especially in Norway and Iceland. Sometimes the main characters have adventures further away, such as in Spain and Austria. Medieval knight castles, bewitched forests and old-fashioned, idyllic manor milieu are among the settings the stories take place in.
Among her literary role models, Sandemo named William Shakespeare, Fyodor Dostoevsky, J.R.R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie and Kjersti Scheen. She read the whole of works of Shakespeare at the age of eight years, and wasn't much older when she turned to crime novels. Kalevala, the national epic of the Finnish people, Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne and King Lear were her favourites. In the adult age she has read significantly less, fearing subconscious plagiarizing. She says that she has got artistic influences also from the Kalevala motifed paintings of Akseli Gallen-Kallela and goblin motifed paintings of Gerhard Munthe. Other sources of inspiration have been classical music, such as the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as well as old Europeans folk stories. Besides these she is fond of Star Wars films, thriller film The Silence of the Lambs directed by Jonathan Demme and earliest episodes of TV-series The X-Files. To her mind the newest episodes of the series are pure rubbish.
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