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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A fantasy novel with comic elements. It runs for just over five hunded and seventy one pages. And is divided into nine parts which are divided into many relatively short chapters.

This is a sequel to the writer's earlier novel Runemarks and tells of new adventures for the characters from there. An introduction to this book does fill in all the story from that one very well, such that those who haven't read the first book should have no trouble getting into this one.

This is seemingly marketed as young adult reading. The ideal age would probably be thirteen and up because it is a rather long and involved work. But if you put the effort in, you will be rewarded. The same goes for older readers.

In the world of this story the norse gods are real, and they and main character Maddy are getting along nicely enough in a relatively secluded life after the power of the gods was seeminly destroyed and everyone thinks them gone. Maddy is a bright and intelligent girl who helped the gods out in the first book, and who is a daughter of Thor.

In this one we also meet Maggie. Her long lost twin sister. Bacause the forces of chaos that tried to destroy the gods before haven't entirely gone away. And Maggie might just be instrumental to their plans. Whilst she finds power and romance via a new friend, Maddy and the gods search for her.

And where might Odin be in the middle of all this?

Comparisons to Terry Pratchett are very apt, because it does have a similar style to his work. Characters growing and changing over the course of a story as they learn life lessons. Malevolent evil lurking in the background. And occasional laughs arising out of character interaction and dialogue. The portrayal of the norse gods goes along with this. It mainly focus on Loki, who is written very well as a superb wheeler dealer who gets a dozen death threats a day before breakfast as a result.

But at it's heart is a rather touching tale of two girls who both would like to have a sister.

A very long book and with a lot going on so it's not as light a bit of reading as it could be. But it's a capable piece of work. And it's nice to have a fantasy story that's a bit different from the norm. Whilst being pretty much self contained the door is left somewhat open for more stories of these characters at the end. On the basis of this, any such books might be worth a look.
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VINE VOICEon 31 August 2012
Harris is famous for her novels such a Chocolat and so I was sceptical about this move into magic and fantasy, but she is simply a wonderful author. This is an amazing book, which for once features strong female lead characters who you can believe in an identify with. Too often women in fantasy novels are just there to sex them up while the men go around being heroic. Here it is the women who are the story.

This is a fantastic tale on so many levels as the Gods try to restore their broken powers and fight against an old enemy - The Whisperer. There is a prophecy that in 12 days time the world will end again and it will all happen in the Universal City. Odin is dead and the Gods are divided. Loki is causing trouble as usual but is there something deeper going on?

You have to enjoy the plays on words, the ways of using the legends to tell a new story and the ways in which the Norse Gods have been reborn in earthly forms. There is a light sense of humour all the way through especially when Loki is involved. There is also a serious side as the teen heroines struggle to make sense of their world. This is a wonderful story for any one, adults as well as teens.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Runelight by Joanne Harris

Well written as always by Joanne Harris, this is a story which is considerably different from the other novels by her that I have read.

Joanne Harris always puts a considerable amount of research into her novels and although this is a fantasy tale, it is no exception as she obviously put a a great deal into the planning of this tale, which is very complex and needs to be read with concentration (you can't 'speed-read').

At the front of the book it is explained that this is the second book in the series, the first being Runemarks. However a short synopsis is given of the previous book with an extensive list of the characters and detailed maps of the different `worlds' which gives enough guidance to enjoy this book on its own merits. However, I would still recommend that one reads the series in order (i.e. read Runemarks first).

This foreword 'Guidance' was also a useful reference area because, as previously mentioned, this book is very complex and I found myself often referring back to it.

Fans of fantasy genre would, I am sure, find this book very good.

Recommended
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on 23 January 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I hadn't read Runemarks before reading this sequel (and still haven't, but will get round to getting a copy eventually) but was drawn to it as soon as I read the blurb and saw it was all about Norse Gods and Mythology, albeit with plenty of liberties taken, of course. I've certainly never read anything resembling the Norse Gods acting quite like they do here :)

I found the weaving story interesting, with plenty of different angles and lots of characters with such varying personalities keeping things nice and exciting, ph and did I mention it's a whole lot of fun? Well, it is, and if you have any interest at all in well written, fun fantasy with a Norse bent then I'd definitely recommend Runelight.

One last thing I'll say is that I sometimes find if baffling that so many novels now seem to be listed as children's books, including this one. But given its length and even some of the content it would surely appeal to adults more and I'd even be surprised if many children would read it. Then again, what are they classing as a child? There are young adult books also, so I'm assuming they mean quite young which is maybe where I'm wrong. Puzzling.
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on 17 June 2013
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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on 22 March 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The sequel to Runemarks starts a few years on. The world is still recovery from the aftermath of the climax in Runemarks and the characters are actually rediscovered, so for those who have not read Runemarks, you can still enjoy discovering the land and people. There is a very helpful synopsis, map, cast of characters in the beginning that sets you on the right path though.
The setting is fascinating, and delivers a tone or colour of fantasy that fans of Moorcroft and Eddings may see semblance to. For those who are used to the more structured fantasies of Tolkein, Feist and Brooks, they may have to work hard to come to grips with this frantic and erratic world that Harris has created.
The story is rich with enough twists and turns to keep you engaged. Some of the characters are especially rich and enticing like Loki, and others fail to deliver in this book.
Over all, this is a wonderful fantasy book. It might not be for everyone's taste, but it definitely has something for everyone.
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on 15 February 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had not read the first book when I came to read this. Very well written and if you haven't read the first book you will still become engrossed in the story. Will appeal to s wide audience of fantasy story readers and although classed as a child's book it will be enjoyed by many adults.
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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Good to see this particular list of characters back again, plus a few new ones. IMHO, not enough attention is paid to the norse gods (who are after all from our own neck of the woods), so a fresh take on Loki, Odin and his pals is definitely worth reading.

You don't have to have read Runelight, but it does help to understand the background to the whole scenario in this book. The plot races along and the only reason to pause whilst reading it is to go back and check on the meaning of the runes, which appear throughout.

A massive departure for Joanne Harris, but an interesting one and I'll be fascinated to see where she goes next with it.
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VINE VOICEon 15 March 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
this is the second in the series of books written by this author who is better known for stories like chocolate set in france ect, this is a story set in a total fantasy world and follows the adventures of a young girl and the creatures she meets and the adventures that ensue,
it is classified as a childrens book but is very much more than that it crosses into the adult market and more should be made of that as i think many adult readers could be missing out as its right up there with tolkien, harry potter and pratchett. i loved the first book and this one was a long wait but it delivers on all fronts ,
very enjoyable read
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