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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Norse legends for our time
Fans of Joanne Harris's epic "Runemarks" have had a long three-year wait for this sequel, "Runelight". Fortunately, the wait has not been in vain; the sequel is a stupendous follow-on from the earlier book, easily exceling its predecessor in every possible way. Indeed, the book is a veritable tour-de-force, quite as action-packed as the earlier volume but now with a much...
Published on 17 Feb 2012 by Steve Benner

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but...
This is the sequel to Runemark and I strongly recommend that you read Runemark first. The story continues (a few years later) the fantasy based around Norse gods and their associated worlds and myths. It is the sort of thing I would expect to like and there were plenty of good things about it but somehow it just didn't quite draw me into its world or grip me with its...
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by Sid Nuncius


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Norse legends for our time, 17 Feb 2012
By 
Steve Benner "Stonegnome" (Lancaster, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runelight (Hardcover)
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Fans of Joanne Harris's epic "Runemarks" have had a long three-year wait for this sequel, "Runelight". Fortunately, the wait has not been in vain; the sequel is a stupendous follow-on from the earlier book, easily exceling its predecessor in every possible way. Indeed, the book is a veritable tour-de-force, quite as action-packed as the earlier volume but now with a much more balanced and controlled story-line that never feels contrived or contorted, carries plenty of mystery and intrigue, managing to pop up a fair few surprises along the way, usually just at the point where you're convinced you've worked out what's going to happen next. The text has an easy flow to it, provides plenty of humour pitched for all age groups and all in all offers not a single dull moment throughout its entire 570-odd pages. No fan of the earlier volume could possibly be disappointed by 'Runelight' (if you haven't read the earlier book you would be well advised to do so before tackling this one) especially as while coming to a nice, satisfying conclusion, there are nevertheless clear options for more to come in the future.

Let us just hope that Joanne Harris doesn't keep us all waiting quite so long for the next one!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I need the third book !!!, 31 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Runelight (Hardcover)
I bought Runemarks because I was bored and I wanted to read something and I didn't have great hopes but I was surprised by it. The book is great and the story is just fantastic. So I bought Runelight before I finished Runemarks, because I knew I wanted to read more about these characters.
Three years have passed since the last chapter of the previous book. The gods and the folk are suffering from the consequences of what went on at Hel's kingdom. Maddy is not the main character here, she shares the spotlight with Maggie, another girl that will have to learn abour her true origin.
This book shows us more about the characters, although some gods don't say much apart from: Can I hammer him? Can I hammer him, now?
It is full of adventure and love (although not in the traditional sense, there is no traditional love story here). And it is funny, it is. Some of the dialogues are witty and I couldn't keep a straight face when Loki was annoying Sif or when Mjolnir comes back from the stomach of the Snake to torment Thor (and the rest) with his opinions and personality.
Loki gets beaten, bullied, threatened, used as bait, chained, lost, insulted and almost everyone wants him dead and yet he remains the best character in the book. He is just too much fun to read, the chapters without him are just not as good.
I really need the third book to be published (the sooner the better), as I will miss these characters too much once I finished the last page (I still have 5 more pages to read).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good sequel to 'Runemarks', 1 May 2012
By 
M. O. HAYNES "couch magpie" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runelight (Hardcover)
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'Runemarks' was a surprise to me a few years ago. A delicately woven plot with some excellent characters and no small amount of surprises and plot twists all set against a fantastic 'ancient gods' backdrop. The only poor thing was the ending, which felt blatantly rushed and designed to lead in to a sequel. This sort of thing is normally reserved for the end of Book 2 but here it was in Book 1. However, I'd enjoyed it so much that I was prepared to forgive Joanne Harris and was delighted when I heard that Runelight was on the way.

'Runelight' is one of those sequels that blissfully just gets on with it from the get go. There's minimal Basil Exposition about Where We Are and How We Got There, just The Story moving forward at the same rollicking pace as the original. It suffers the same fate as many sequels when more information is revealed about the characters and the overall backstory - the sheer amount of information that you are being presented with can get a little bit overwhelming, but Runelight just managed to stay away from indulgence and keep its eyes on the prize: the plot. I'll keep it spoiler free but there's even more skullduggery, derring-do and questionable loyalties than in 'Runemarks'. Yes, there's a set up for Rune3 but I actually found the ending to be more satisfying than the first book. A no-brainer for fans of the first, and a must for anyone who likes a well crafted tale on a large scale.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathes life into Norse mythology., 11 Nov 2011
This review is from: Runelight (Hardcover)
You know from my review yesterday that I enjoyed the first book in this series, Runemarks but this one really blew me away. I LOVED Runelight. This book totally absorbed me like a Venus fly trap, then spat me out at the end after controlling my mind for the whole journey. After reading it, I couldn't help but feel that with Runemarks the author was testing the waters, but with Runelight she swam the Channel - unaided!

We find ourselves returning to World's End, which has basically taken a noise dive in the most beautiful places to live guide. No one seems to be able to forget the events that occurred at the end of Runemarks and the clearing up operations seems to still be going on.

It was lovely to be reacquainted with some friendly old faces and it was interesting to see how they had developed in the three years since the previous events. Many alliances and friendships were in need of rebuilding, which resulted in a group of argumentative and nit picking Norse Gods, who were still having issues with past misdemeanours . The humour in this book really has gone up a notch and it really reminded me of the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett, where humour is carefully hidden within the high drama.

Just to show you what I mean, here is a scene that could have come straight out of a comedy.
'So protecting me was just a ruse to ensure I survived to cement your deal.' Loki appealed to the party of gods. 'You're really going along with this? You're going to watch them sacrifice me? Sif, we've had our differences, but...'
The goddess of grace and plenty smiled. 'You bet I'm going to watch,' she said. ' I only wish we had popcorn.'
Fabulous! Now imagine 572 pages with humour like this.

I absolutely adored Loki! He is like the Derek Trotter of the Nine Worlds, wheeling and dealing his way out of ever death threat he can. My favourite scenes in the book revolved around the freak show they labelled a circus. In order for the gods to travel unnoticed, he creates a travelling show that will be noticed but won't be believed. Always fond of the weird and wonderful, I couldn't help but become attached to Jormundgand, the World Serpent, who could only think with his stomach.

Some interesting new characters join the cast of many and some of the secondary characters from the previous book step forward to take their moments in the spot light. I found it much easier to keep track of all the characters in this book which I believe is due to the detailed descriptions provided by the author.

The book goes from strength to strength, finishing with an epic battle where the End of the World is at stake. Again. An apocalyptic climax, via a kaleidoscope of varying powers. Asgard - well I am lost for words as to describe how beautiful and wonderful it sounds. You will just have to read it sigh in wonder with me.

Joanne Harris is one of the most versatile authors I have ever come across. With each book she writes, it is like hopping on a magical mystery tour, where you never know where you will end up. She has such a uniqueness to her writing voice, that each book is like a surprise gift. This author cannot be labelled or categorised to fit into one genre. She has the ability to take any subject or genre and make it her own, marking it with her individuality.

This is a tale of epic proportion that will bring to life the Norse myths which so often get over overlooked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 4 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Runelight (Paperback)
A captivating book that keeps the reader hooked from the very beginning. Impossible to put down and walk away from.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another book please!, 17 Jun 2013
By 
J. Hesketh (Shropshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runelight (Paperback)
Runelight - what an amazing tale! Joanne Harris' imagination is given full power here and the story is gripping from start to spectacular finish. The characters, though I initially thought were just a little far fetched, very quickly won me round and totally drew me in and so now I am hoping that another Rune book will closely follow.
I suggest the excellent Runemarks should be read first, then let your imagination take wings and enjoy this fabulous book to the hilt. Roll on Book Three.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Norse legends!, 14 May 2013
By 
Pompom (Devon) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runelight (Hardcover)
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I adore Norse mythology. This has taken me a while to review as I've had to go back and look at the previous book. I really enjoyed them both. Bringing Norse mythology into the modern age.... Not a dull moment. I hope Joanne writes more - I'll certainly be back.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A big hit with my teenage daughter - a worthy sequel to the first book in the series, 15 Mar 2012
By 
Keith_Joseph (West Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runelight (Hardcover)
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Runelight is the sequel to Runemark, which my 17 year old daughter really liked and rated 4*. The two books are aimed at 'young adults' [age 14+]. She says "The stories are about the Norse Gods, and 'Ragnarok' which is the end of the world - but the books tell you what happens afterwards, so it's not about the end of the world really but the beginning of a new one". Apparently I can't say much more as it might ruin the plot. My daughter really enjoyed these two Rune books: "They are amusing and Loki is the best - the most awesome character ever." In fact he's so awesome she bought the Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok 1: Complete Coll [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] Loki cartoon series as well via eBay simply as it has a similar name/theme, although that TV series isn't related to these books. Her final thoughts: "And the horse is a hill, what more could you want!" (I guess you have to read these two Runebooks to find out what that means). So it's a real hit with it's target teenage audience and she thinks this sequel's even better than the excellent first Runemark book - so 5*. My daughter is a fantasy novel fan, with recent faves being Kitty Norville the Werewolf and The WereWorld series, plus stalwarts like The Dresden files, and the TrueBlood Sookie Stackhouse book sets.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but..., 14 Mar 2012
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runelight (Hardcover)
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This is the sequel to Runemark and I strongly recommend that you read Runemark first. The story continues (a few years later) the fantasy based around Norse gods and their associated worlds and myths. It is the sort of thing I would expect to like and there were plenty of good things about it but somehow it just didn't quite draw me into its world or grip me with its story.

Joanne Harris writes very well. She has an easy, readable style and creates original characters. I liked the modern-day characterizations like the two dim, thuggish wolf-humans calling each other "dude," and her world is well painted. I find it hard to put my finger on why I didn't really respond to the book. One factor was that the writing, although good, seems a little one-paced. Around page 130, for example, a tremendous event occurs but the tone didn't really change and it didn't seem to excite me any more than the scene-setting before it. I found this throughout the book and ended up being a little unsatisfied by it.

Another problem for me was the sheer complexity of the world's make-up and of the relationships, friendships and enmities among its huge number of characters and peoples (I use the word loosely.) There is a very helpful diagram of the Worlds, a good map and a cast of characters (plus a good synopsis of Runemark for new readers) but even with this I found myself rather lost among who was at war with whom and why.

Plainly others have enjoyed this book enormously and I can see why so please don't let me put you off, but I'm afraid it didn't quite do it for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another norse fantasy dazzler!, 9 Feb 2012
This review is from: Runelight (Hardcover)
Joanne Harris has utterly upped her game since writing the wonderful Runemarks. Runelight is bigger, better and more magical than ever. There are the old favourite characters of Loki and Thor and to this mix she adds new characters of the three famous wolves Fenris, Skoll and Hati and even Odin's (One-Eye) ravens Hugnin and Munin but each with their own quirky names and personalities.
What make's it extra special is the massive trail of secrets that is woven throughout all the events and adventures the reader follows and its all woven beautifully amongst ancient nursery rhymes. Of course it's revovling around Chaos once again trying to rub out Order from the world in a variety of jaw dropping ways. Although the more the reader reads the more it will make them think that the forces of Order and Chaos are quite similar despite their differences.
It is a refreshing and invigorating read and it inpsiring to see these great characters of old, flaws and all as none of these gods are perfect, reimagined into new adventures that can't help but captivate and capture the hearts and minds of a new generation. I think all the skalds of old will claim Joanne is blessed by Odin for her story telling abilities. I get shivers just thinking about what might possibly happen next in the sequel to this, that already overshadows Runemarks in more ways than one!
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Runelight by Joanne Harris (Paperback - 8 Nov 2012)
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