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Runemarks Paperback – 4 Sep 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens; First Edition edition (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552555754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552555753
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Especially enjoyable are Harris' aphorisms, her satire of joyless piety and the comically irreverant vernacular spoken by a dissolute goblin and the trickster god Loki" (Nicolette Jones The Sunday Times)

"Joanne Harris deploys a big cast in relentless action across a cosmic panorama. This is a mighty feat of storytelling and a fascination re-envisionment of Norse mythology" (Books for Keeps)

"Her dramatic story rollocks along for 536 pages with magical transformations, nets of blue fire and a spunky heroine" (Amanda Craig The Times)

"This is a fantastic romp through the world of ancient magic, which should appeal to all adventure lovers aged 10-12 and above" (Ruth Coleman Inis)

Review

Maddy Smith is a girl who has got it bad. Born with the runemark of the title on her hand, she is an oddball in her village, befriended only by a mysterious old man called One-Eye, who teaches her all she knows of magic. Unlike ordinary humans, Maddy can see goblins, and knows that where her friend's glam (magic) is weak, hers is strong, though quite how strong she only discovers when she goes underground and meets a young man who calls himself Lucky. Before long Maddy is coping with the reawakened Sleepers, formerly Norse gods. Together with a pleasingly cynical oracular head called The Whisperer, who has plans of his own, she has to prevent the Nine Worlds from descending into Chaos.

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is Joanne Harris's first novel for young adults. Its the story of maddy Smith a fourteen year old girl who lives in the distant future in a world entirely different to ours. Maddie is born with a mysterious rune mark on her hand which in her world is considered a very bad omen.
The novel which is quite long for a childrens novel relates Maddie's adventures as she crosses over into the different worlds. On her journey she encounters many colourful characters including norse gods. No-one is quite who they appear to be and who actually can Maddie really trust! There are lots of twists along the way. Joanne Harris in this book demonstates her ability as a storyteller. Although i did feel that she did not explore the character of Maddy strongly enough that said a very readable story.
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Format: Paperback
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 life showing their failings ,frailty and ,dare I say,humanity much denied them for centuries .A book I would highly recommend( I can't wait for a sequel.)
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved 'Runemarks'. Although it's been marketed as a Young Adult book, I enjoyed reading it as much as my daughter and her friends did, and view it as a crossover book that any age group with a penchant for fantasy and magic will thoroughly enjoy. I found it engrossing from the first wonderful sentence: "Seven o'clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the End of the World, and goblins had been at the cellar again."

An outsider who has to discover and grow into her power, runes, magic, Norse gods, goblins, sharp humour, action and adventure, and an abundance of clever twists all combine to make this a high-voltage read that's hard to put down. I've read reviews that say you would need some knowledge of the Norse gods to understand this book, but I don't agree. Their characters are part of the story and it's not important to know their mythical backgrounds - though you may find you want to explore them, and the runes, further after reading 'Runemarks.' There's a list of characters and a brief description of the individual runes at the beginning of the book, which makes it easy to see who's who - the cast of characters made me laugh, because it swiftly becomes clear, before you even start to read the book, that Loki is Trouble with a capital T.

If you're expecting a novel along the lines of 'Chocolat', 'The Lollipop Shoes', 'Gentlemen and Players', 'Sleep, Pale Sister,' or any of Joanne's adult books, you'll find 'Runemarks' to be very, very different but just as well-written. As an author she has always admirably resisted being typecast, and 'Runemarks' reveals how extraordinarily versatile she is as a writer.
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Format: Hardcover
I thought this book was really great. Yes, it is a bit complex at times - but definitely not too much so. The story is really interwoven, full of suspense, intrigue and that makes it a real page turner. I bought it at the airport - as a frequent traveller I buy most books here and am frequently disappointed. However, even when I put this down (hard as it was) and returned to it a couple of days later, I got right back into the story immediately.

The characters are interesting, different and some really magical. I'm a fan of Joanne Harris anyway, particularly of '5 quarters of the orange' and the 'lollipop shoes', but this (in my humble opinion) is the best so far in terms of substance, storyline and excitement.

I would think it's appealing to such a range of people; men and women, young and old... it's very different.

And, what's more, the ending is left quite 'open', so let's hope there's another to follow..!
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By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
A novel that will continue to stay with the reader long after it's been finished and demonstrates that Joanne's writing is going from strength to strength. I know Joanne more for her adult writing rather than YA and her talent clearly shows throughout the readers time with the novel. Gripping with interesting characters who will keep the reader guessing as to their motives with an additional touch to keep the reader glued to the pages through the use of dry humour many of us associate with Terry Pratchett. Highly enjoyable, addictive and something that may inspire the younger readers to want to know more about Norse myth.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would never read a book of this genre normally. The only reason I read this was because I've read all of Harris's books and she has a knack of gently leading you into a story and before you know it, you're hooked!. Nothing exceptional may have happened, and there's nothing out of the ordinary with the characters. But somehow, you can't put the book down. It's that easy style she has that makes you feel you've known the characters forever. So I was interested to see how she dealt with a younger audience, and on this subject. .......and I have to say hats off, she's done it again. If someone asked me to read a book as about Norse gods, I'd have thought no way. But Harris just keeps delivering. Thank you for making it so exciting every time you write a book.
So why 4 stars? Only down to the fact I had a little trouble keeping up with all the characters and who's side they were on. But to be fair, that was probably my fault because in certain parts of the story I had to keep putting the book down due to busy periods. Otherwise it would have gotten 5 stars
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