Book Review: Runemarks by Joanne Harris

runemarksRunemarks by Joanne Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Seven o’clock, on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the end of the world, and goblins had been at the cellar again…

Maddy Smith was born with a rusty-coloured runemark on her hand – a symbol of the old gods and definitely cause for suspicion. For magic is dangerous. Or so everyone thinks. But Maddy enjoys working magic. Even if it is just to control some pesky goblins. And every time her friend, One-Eye – a good-for-nowt Outlander – comes by, he teaches her more and more about the gods and the runes. Now he wants Maddy to open Red Horse Hill and descend into World Below to retrieve a relic of the old gods. Otherwise it is likely to be the End of Everything.

This is a story of Loki and Odin, old gods and magic, folk and the nameless.

Maddy, 14 years old and always considered by her small community as being *different*, becomes friends with One-Eye. He teaches her small pieces of magic, but one day she gets pulled into a much wider world, where the old gods prove to be real and she finds out why she feels the way she does.

Forget that this is a Joanne Harris book – if you’re expecting another Chocolat, you will be sorely disappointed. Read it for what it is though – a fantasy book by a decent author – and it can help.

I enjoyed reading it. There is the odd bit of humour, the gods are very human like on occasion – pettiness and base human emotions included. In two minds about the Folk, and think they were a little two dimensional, but then again, they were mainly secondary characters.




4 thoughts on “Book Review: Runemarks by Joanne Harris

  1. With so many authors writing for both adults and children/YA now, it’s hard to keep track of which books are which! Can’t they stay in their pigeonholes? It’s hard enough as a reader to try and keep up in various genres, much less in children’s and YA lit too! 😉 I kept meaning to read Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris. I haven’t kept up with her after Chocolat, at all!


    • Neil Gaiman refuses to be pigeonholed on the basis that “writers should be able to write anything” but I understand your point. G&P is rather good too


      • just finished (goes to check) Frost Hollow Hall which is marked as “children’s fiction”. Didnt read it as such, and was really rather good. Post here in October, since it involves ghosts. or you can read it over at goodreads/librarything if you cant wait.


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