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Skadi the Huntress

Page: 1
by Joanne Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful, enthralling adventure, 6 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
Joanne Harris' "Runemarks" is that rare thing - a fantasy adventure with an immensely likeable lead, an adorable frenemy, and a cast of wittily observed supporting characters, as well as a cleverly original plot and snappy addictive narrative.

Maddy, the girl who can't seem to fit in among her dull, overly-religious village neighbours, discovers she has far more in common with the old Norse gods, a band of magical misfits trying to hang on to an old world that's fallen under the hooves of the new Order. She's soon off on an epic adventure through the Nine Worlds with the god of mischief, a talking head, and a work-shy goblin for company.

I first met the Norse pantheon through this book, and I couldn't have asked for a better introduction - it really does bring them to life in a way that's both sympathetic to the original myths and updated in glorious new colours. Special mention must go to Loki, who is possibly one of the best characters I've read for ages.

If the book has a fault, it's that there's a shade too much organised-religion-bashing. It didn't bother me too much, because admittedly the Order are portrayed as the Church in one of their historical low points, and the Norse gods aren't portrayed as faultless either, but I thought it was probably worth a mention.

Also, this is officially targeted at teenagers, but don't let that put you off - the writing style and the content are generally accessible and never patronising. "Runemarks" is very highly recommended for anyone looking for a fantasy that breaks the mould.

Pride and Prejudice (Wordsworth Classics)
Pride and Prejudice (Wordsworth Classics)
by Jane Austen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An undeniable masterpiece, 6 Aug. 2012
Pride and Prejudice, the much-sung classic tale of the daughters who must get married, simply cannot be celebrated enough. Essentially this is the story of several young women having to make the best of their situation and do what society expects of them. Most of them actually do what society expects, and so in other words this book is about as far from a fantasy as can be: it is a book about real people, coping with real situations. It's saved from being dull and tedious by the fact that it is also beautifully romantic, stylishly narrated, and cleverly amusing, gently poking fun at all the characters in equal measure. Elizabeth is a wonderful heroine surrounded by her often ridiculous friends and family - a situation I think we can all identify with occasionally! This book was written by someone who understood humans so unbelievably well that I guarantee you will find at least one character you know in real life - Mrs Bennett, Lydia, Mr Collins and Caroline Bingley in particular are terrifyingly real.

Alright, so a fast-paced thriller it is not. The main events are fairly well-spaced between passages of conversation; it's almost as if you are watching real people that you know play out their lives, such that the book involves you in a way that most other stories can only dream of.

Everyone should read this book. Until you have you are ignorant of its wonders.

(N.B. Many of the writers of the negative reviews about the novel seem to feel they have been misled in some way, and that the book was neither what they wanted nor expected. To break it to you gently, if you're looking for car chases and gunfights, Pride and Prejudice probably isn't for you.)

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