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Ever since Chocolat, Harris has played with the idea that magic might actually work, and it was only a matter of time before she, like many other adult authors, wrote a book for children. Her enjoyment at being able to go the whole hog is palpable, and her dramatic story rollocks along for 536 pages, with magical transformations, nets of blue fire and a spunky heroine. -- The Times, August 25th 2007
This book has a great opening sentence: "Seven o'clock on a Monday morning, 500 years after the End of the World, and goblins had been at the cellar again." Joanne Harris, best known as the author of Chocolat, is good at beginnings and pay-offs: each of the chapters in this nine-part fantasy epic has a punchy finish that makes you want to read on. This is despite the complexity of the story, which is based on Norse myth and uses elaborate geography and hierarchies. Maddy Smith, the novel's young heroine, who was born with a rusty-coloured rune mark on her hand, has powers that make her an outsider in her village, where dream, imagination and magic are frowned upon. A nasty incident in the cellar, however, throws Maddy into the company of Norse gods, goblins and monsters, revisiting the 500-year-old conflict of Ragnarok in which the Old Order of deities was overthrown and a rigid, puritanical regime came into force. Identities and loyalties shift as the plot thickens. Especially enjoyable are Harris's aphorisms, her satire of joyless piety, and the comically irreverent vernacular spoken by a dissolute goblin and the trickster god Loki -- The Sunday Times, August 27th 2007
Ever since Chocolat, Harris has played with the idea that magic might actually work, and it was only a matter of time before she, like many other adult authors, wrote a book for children. Her enjoyment at being able to go the whole hog is palpable, and her dramatic story rollocks along for 536 pages, with magical transformations, nets of blue fire and a spunky heroine.
Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this at all. I found it very difficult to read and understand, although I did persevere to the end. Not her usual standard at all.Published 2 months ago by K. H. Harrison
I found this light work compared to some of the fantasy I read, which was no bad thing, and there seem to be some definite nods to Sir Terry Pratchett, of whom I'm a big fan. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Del
Good follow up to her other book THE GOSPEL OF LOKI better to have read the gospel first although could be read on ownPublished 4 months ago by henry j powell
Very clever, very easy to read. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Perfect for a saga feast in front of the fire on a winters day.
Am currently reading this book. It is certainly unusual but very well written.Published 6 months ago by Deborah Chetwood
a fantastic novel based on the Norse Gods. Real humour, cunning and brilliantly written. Yes it may appear as 'young adult fiction' but there will be plenty in there for adults... Read morePublished 7 months ago by wicce_k
As soon as I found out that this book existed I wanted to read it, but I didn't have any idea of what to expect. Read morePublished 7 months ago by shepline