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on 8 November 2017
I bought this because I love "The Gospel of Loki" and was expecting a similar standard. What a disappointment. Disjointed, no flow, difficult to follow at times. It seemed more of a book for early teenagers than adults, and if you're a fan of Norse Mythology this is not for you.
I persevered (and believe me, that is how I felt) to the end but it didn't improve. I have no desire to read the next book in the 'series'.
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on 3 June 2017
Loved this version of Norse myths although my grandson thinks the "facts" are inaccurate and far fetched and I have got it all wrong. I liked the fast-moving style of writing and irreverent dealing with the established lore.Whose to say what is "true" or possible!
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on 14 February 2017
Very good fantasy book . If you are a fan of the genre you will enjoy it
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on 2 August 2017
Great read. A good sequel to The Gospel of Loki.
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on 13 July 2017
Another fabulous page turner from Joanne Harris. It felt as if I was as lost in the world of dream as the characters. Now I can't wait for the next one!
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on 29 August 2017
Great story
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on 21 March 2017
Really good story but a bit confusing at times.
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on 7 July 2013
Do you have a teenage girl in your life? introduce her to these books and help her both fall in love with Loki, and realise her own power, always a good thing.
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on 17 December 2007
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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on 27 November 2016
Readers interested in Norse mythology and adventure stories that take place in huge worlds. (YA/Adult)

Summed up in a few words
Mythical. Power. Betrayal. War.

First Impressions
I requested this book as soon as I saw it, I have read The Gospel of Loki which I absolutely loved (I am a mythology addict) so I had to read Runemarks too. This is a re-release of the original book which was published in 2007 but this version has an epic, artistic and mythology based landscape on the cover which is absolutely stunning (it is also hardback which is a bonus). I am a huge fan of Joanne Harris so thank you to Stevie at Gollancz for providing me a copy of the book to devour almost immediately.

My Thoughts
I was going to share a gorgeous piece of artwork that is in the book but I didn't want to infringe any copy rights... it is amazing though, it is an image of the YGGDRASIL (the world tree) with all the nine worlds surrounding it and it perfectly sets the tone for the whole book. Gollancz have taken this book and added a whole additional dimension to the book through the artwork and I am incredibly impressed.

I am a big Joanne M. Harris fan and I am making my way through her work just as fast as I can. I loved The Gospel Of Loki with a flaming passion, I adore any book that is rooted in mythology and this book was no exception. Though I felt where The Gospel Of Loki was more mythology than novel, Runemarks is the opposite. Runemarks is a novel set in a detailed, magical and turbulent world. Norse mythology, symbolism and characters are stitched into every fibre of the book and it is a cracking read. It is targeted at a YA/Adult audience, there is some foul language, graphic imagery and other adultish themes included but nothing overly disturbing as such.

14 year old Maddy is confused and frustrated at her family, fellow villagers and the gods for shunting her and leaving her an outcast in her own home. A revolution is slowly sweeping the land, Order is taking over and as Maddy has Chaos flowing through her veins it won't be long until she is sentenced to death. A stranger called One-Eye appears in the village when Maddy is 7 and appears once a year after that, sharing the knowledge of her abilities and the worlds beyond the one she currently occupies.

Eventually when the time is right, One-Eye sends Maddy on a mission to get in contact with the trickster god Loki and retrieve a relic call The Whisperer which will predict the future and tell her what path to take. His one piece of advice is trust no-one, but with Loki in her head and a dozen pissed off gods in her way, she needs all the help she can get.

Runemarks is such an epic journey through all the of the Nine Worlds, with endless amazing mythological content and references. The book is quite a chunk at 512 pages but it is barely noticeable as I flew through the story and found myself laughing, amazed, indulged and at times horrified. I have to admit that it did not meet my expectations entirely, but that is because I had unfairly massive expectations after reading The Gospels of Loki which acted as sort of a prequel to this book. Had I read this first then I think it would have surpassed my expectations but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed it but it wasn't as drenched in mythology than I would have wanted. (But I always want more so who's problem is it really?)

The premise is superb, the characters are developed, recognisable and complex, or just a bit crazy and/or powerful. I loved the fact that the ending didn't really conclude the story, it just generated so many more questions. I appreciate the fact the Harris has such a command of the information/knowledge of the Norse mythology that she has gathered over the years and I could listen to her talk about it all day, every day.

Overall I really loved the book, it is memorable, masterful and most importantly it is enjoyable. Spending time with the gods in mythology is one of my favourite things to do when I read so maybe I am a bit biased but if you subtract the Norse part of the book, you are still left with a solid story about a girl running into the Chaos to find somewhere to belong.
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