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82 Reviews
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and enjoyable read.
I picked this book up while looking for something to read during my nightshift and was immediately hooked.A truly great fantasy story woven into the world of myth and legend of the Norse gods of old with modern,upbeat humour as a side dish.The characters are wonderfully believable and the author's treatment of the gods of the Aesir and Vanir is a tonic bringing them to...
Published on 11 Nov 2008 by Timoshenko

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new direction but hopefully not for good
This is Harris' first attempt at a fantasy novel although all her books involve magic. Her writing style is as strong as ever and it is easy to get involved in the magical world she creates. It is all very tongue-in-cheek with humour that owes a lot to the influence of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.
Those who already have a knowledge of the world of Norse gods...
Published on 10 Oct 2007 by Hayles


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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thought it would have been better, 15 Feb 2008
By 
R. Harris "Smart Onions" (Nottinghamshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Runemarks (Hardcover)
I have really enjoyed Joanne Harris' other works but this work was not up to her normal standard. Firstly I think it relies on a previous knowledge of Norse mythology - with it the characters probably work in an entertaining way, without it they are just a bunch of backstabbing characters that you care equally little about. Secondly there seems to be an inner confusion in the book - the church is portrayed as a bad thing, but there is no good portrayed either. Everyone hates each other or is cheating on someone else which might have worked for a little while but surely a novel should form some order out of such chaos? The geography is shallow (a shock from the author of Chocolat): the whole world appears to consist of a big city which we never see and a valley with a couple of villages in it. Runes and magic were overplayed to the point that every character can use them (even a pig!). Surely magic is something special - if everyone has it what is the point of including it at all? I never thought I would consider not bothering to finish a Joanne Harris novel, but I did consider this even in the last twenty pages.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a let down, 12 Jun 2009
By 
C. Elliott (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
I am a great fan of Joanne Harris, but this, her first novel for young adults, is a bit of a let down. Her interest in magic and signs to ward of evil, which is subtly handled in Chocolat, runs rampant here, and the result is a confused narrative, full of allusions to Norse myth, in which most characters, runes, and many objects and places, have more than one name, and often more than one shape. Although it starts well, and plot is good, it becomes increasingly self-indulgent, and is definitely over-long for the intended market. Maddy, the main character, is a feisty village misfit with a runemark on her hand and exceptional powers which her fellow villagers see as a threat. An enigmatic mentor, known as One-Eye, becomes her teacher, and for him she takes the risky path to World Below to recover the mysterious Whisperer, an oracle from the time of the Old Gods, who are sleeping, but ready to be awakened again. The characters are well drawn, especially Loki, the trickster, who is both attractive and dangerous, and the cynical Whisperer, and there are cliff-hangers, moments of humour, and an exciting climax - but it's really too much effort to cope with so many characters and so many names, sub-plots, disguises, mixed loyalties and secrets. A shame, really, but perhaps Joanne Harris needed to get it out of her system. I hope she returns to her wonderful, clever, subtle stories in future.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars twaddle, 2 Nov 2008
By 
N. Craven "Nick" (East Anglia , UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runemarks (Hardcover)
I've just finished reading this aloud for my son (he's dyslexic) and have seldom been more pleased to reach the end of a book. It's not badly written but it is over-written in places and double the length it should be. The tone is confused, veering from portentous to matey, and Harris is so busy showing off her extensive knowledge of Norse mythology that little matters like clarity and characterisation go by the board.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a present so I have not read it ..., 14 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
This was a present so I have not read it all : it does however seem to live up to the favourable reviews.
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13 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, 31 July 2007
This review is from: Runemarks (Hardcover)
A very good book for its style, I enjoyed my read. A real page turned to coin a phrase. There are better books out there, but this book stayed with me. I put it down over a week ago but yet cannot get it out of my mind. If that's an indication of a book's success, then let this one be immensely successful.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A warning for Joanne Harris fans..., 31 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Runemarks (Kindle Edition)
As a fan of Joanne Harris, I feel duty bound to warn fellow devotees that this book is not in her usual style. It is aimed at young adults/ teenagers, not her usual readership, and without this information you may be sadly disappointed. For my taste, this book goes a few steps too far into the world of fantasy, magic and goblins and had I realised that it was not aimed at her usual audience before I clicked the " buy with one click" button, I would not have bought it. Very well written, but not my cup of tea...
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing ~ Claire "Harris Fan", 26 Nov 2010
This review is from: Runemarks (Kindle Edition)
I normally love everything I read of Harris but struggled to find the will to finish this book. Very drawn out and pointless plot. Not sure which age group this was meant for ~ teens interested in Nordic mythology?
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Runemarks, 25 May 2010
By 
M. R. Wing (Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
I am a big Joanne Harris fan but found Runemarks a little overcomplicated and falling short of the good read i always expect. Perhaps i should have foreseen a major change in style given that this is a change in genre but if this was written for 'younger readers' I won't be trying and more of this style when written for adults - perhaps I'm too old for this.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Runemarks. Joanne Harris, 29 April 2009
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This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
Far too involved for my intellect! Too many "characters" involved at the beginning. Her other books are fantastic in all senses of the word.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much like Lord of the Rings, 24 Feb 2009
By 
DubaiReader "MaryAnne" (Rowlands Castle, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Runemarks (Paperback)
Joanne Harris is one of my favourite authors and I've read nearly everything she's written, but I would have to admit that I hope this diversion into fantasy does not mean the end of books such as Chocolat and Players and Gentlemen.

Runemarks started well and there was a lot of subtle humour and irony, but it got more and more weird and confusing as the story progressed and I ended up not caring who won, I just wanted to move on to my next read. The end felt rushed and just too far fetched after a novel that had taken so much trouble to set everything up neatly and remain true to itself.

I felt that Ms Harris was trying to create something along the lines of Lord of the Rings and while this book would probably tranlate well into film and has set itself up for a sequel, I shall be waiting, hopefully for a return to the old style.
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Runemarks by Joanne Harris (Hardcover - 2 Aug 2007)
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