Runemarks by Joanne M. Harris

Review published on January 29, 2017.

In a world where magic and mystery are outlawed, Maddy has always been an outsider. With the strange marking on her hand and her unusual abilities, she’s mistrusted and feared by ‘normal’ folk. However, Maddy’s life is about to change. From learning about the ways of the old gods to travelling into the World Below and meeting the infamous trickster, Loki, Maddy must embark on a journey the likes of which she has never imagined.

I am a big fan of Joanne Harris and have read all of her books. Chocolat remains one of my all-time favourites. This book is very different.

Runemarks is marketed as a Young Adult book; however, I think it is a book for all ages. From the first sentence, I was gripped: “Seven o’clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the end of the World, and goblins had been at the cellar again.” How could one not be intrigued?

The book, however, is a tad confusing and complex at times. It is a very interwoven story but also a real page turner. Some of the concepts from Norse mythology are a little difficult to follow. This might be because of my ignorance as I know very little about it. The ending is a bit obscure, which is always annoying. I guess this is because there is another book to come.

This book is a far cry from the author’s usual novels about France and food. Even though I enjoyed the book, I prefer the old Joanne Harris and hope she returns soon!

Dorothy Flaxman 3/2

Runemarks by Joanne M. Harris
Gollancz 9781473217041 hbk Nov 2016

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