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(Runemarks #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  7,072 ratings  ·  877 reviews
Seven o'clock, on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the end of the world, and goblins had been at the cellar again...

Maddy Smith was born with a rusty-coloured runemark on her hand - a symbol of the old gods and definitely cause for suspicion. For magic is dangerous. Or so everyone thinks. But Maddy enjoys working magic. Even if it is just to control some pesky go
Paperback, 504 pages
Published 2008 by Corgi (first published 2007)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,072 ratings  ·  877 reviews

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Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, netgalley
This is a dense and sprawling satire that draws on Norse mythology and folklore on which the author has certainly done her research. She re-imagines the Norse gods and on occasion subverts them. Maddy Smith is the young heroine shunned by family and community. She was born with a new runemark on her hand denoting the gods. In her world, magic is perceived to be dangerous and banned. But here's the thing, Maddy likes doing magic.....particularly when it comes to some troublesome goblins!

Maddy's o
Final rating: 4.25/5 stars
Final rating - for the whole series: 3.5/5 stars

I have read this book first in 2011. Back then I did not even theorize this could get a sequel. But it has. And I am glad for it. This book can be seen as stand-alone book but there were some loose ends for which I didn't give this book five stars. Neither will I this time, but in any case, it deserves to be 4.25. And, damn I forgot how much this book was fun and enjoyable to read.

I usually don't change the date read to
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking for something lighthearted to clear your head between longer and more complex series? Why not Zoidberg Runemarks?

Rating could have been lowered but this was fast and fun read and it was perfect counterweight to complex Malazan series that was reading along side it. so i'm going to give it 4 stars. It's YA fantasy but it's more inspired by older heroic fantasy with than modern YA genre. Distinctive writing style that flows easily and setting heavily inspired by Norse mythology contribut
Nov 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

The Nordic mythical foundations of this book were well utilised, conforming to known stories in parts and freely reimagined in others. The initial part of the book was especially well done; though it begins with the usual young protagonist coming into their powers, the runemarks and character of Maddy Smith gave it a real freshness and appeal.

However, the book felt stretched, pushed well past the moment when all the reader's attention is firmly focused. By the time of the big battle con
Jul 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really fun way to spend some reading hours. It's YA Fantasy, which I wouldn't normally read, but Harris's style proved too seductive for me. She laid out a trail of breadcrumbs from the first paragraph and before I knew it I was deep inside the mountain, and the story. Caught, and mesmerized, there was no way out, but through it.

I will admit to one or two brain spasms along the way as I tried to make sense of the complex Norse mythology, with which Harris deviates from the convention
Alethea A
I loved the movie Chocolat and I read a bit of Jigs and Reels, but nothing has hooked me on Joanne Harris as much as this! She started it as a story for her daughter, years later it is a fantastic tale of magic and adventure for all ages. The mythology is Norse, a nice break from the Greek gods if you've been devouring Rick Riordan's Olympians. So soon after reading Michael Scott's The Alchemyst, it's neat to come across more references to Yggdrasil, the World Tree. And if, like me, you love kee ...more
My main complaint about Runemarks was the complexity. The narrative was far too extensive and unfocused. I don’t know much about Norse mythology, so I found myself frequently frustrated with the intricate and complicated Norse histories. I usually prefer being eased into a new world where I’m given time to absorb the characters’ personalities and different politics, etc. It wasn’t my taste.

YABC May 2008
Έχω διαβάσει αυτό το βιβλίο μπορεί ίσα με 10 φορές (στην κυριολεξία).
Θυμάμαι την πρώτη φορά που το διάβασα πήγαινα γυμνάσιο και ντρέπομαι που το λέω αλλά δεν είχα ιδέα έστω ότι υπάρχει κάτι που λέγεται σκανδιναβική μυθολογία.

Το είχα πάρει από τη Δανειστική Βιβλιοθήκη με μισή καρδιά γιατί ούτε το εξώφυλλο με τρέλαινε, ούτε ο τίτλος και η περίληψη στο οπισθόφυλλο μου φαινόταν τελείως κλισέ.
Και πραγματικά πιστεύω πως τόσο πολύ έξω δεν έχω πέσει ποτέ με άλλο βιβλίο! Δεν μπορούσα να το πιστέψω! Με κ
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Helen by: One of those "pimp your fandom " posts that mentioned shenanigans. A lot.
I made one big pause while reading, so my thoughts are not 100% coherent; I also don't have time for a detailed review right now. I'll just say what made me decide on five rather than four.

-YA WITH FEMALE PROTAGONIST BUT NO ROMANCE. (No, no potential love interests introduced either.)
-Despite target audience, it is much less Bleached Underpants than many other interpretations of Norse Mythology. Also, no Black&White here.
-The recommendation mentioned "shenanigans", but it's not as much about
Elise (On The Bookshelves)
Firstly, this cover looks stunning in person with its gold accents and that combined with the synopsis made me instantly buy it because who doesn't love a little bit of mythology?! Well, this was absolutely filled to the brim with Norse mythology, which was super exciting because I love mythology, but it didn't make for a nice reading experience since you were just constantly overloaded with information about each of the gods and the Nine Worlds. Due to this, the pace just kept getting interrupt ...more
HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS BEFORE??? I mean, I know why, because in my opinion the summary for this book doesn't really do it justice. Or maybe it does, but it doesn't necessarily highlight the parts of the book that make it most appealing to me personally.

First of all, I feel like the summary/cover makes this seem more like a middle grade book, but it is definitely YA. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind middle grade books, but with the complexity of the story here I'm glad it was aimed at a slight
Abigail H. Leskey
Characters: MADDY is an excellent heroine. She's not too perfect, but well-meaning, brave, daring, and affectionate without mush. She's not fluffy or weepy and she doesn't have an attitude. If in the one part she's momentarily whiny it's understandable and she stops very soon. And can she throw a mind bolt!

ONE-EYE, Odin, is a puzzle to Maddy. Her friend, mentor; but is he only utilizing her?

LOKI--unpredictable. Charming; scarred; a rogue; snarky to the limit, with a dark past. If you asked him
Lyn Elliott
Joanne Harris has written a fast-moving story with a young heroine, 14 at the time of the dramatic action, set 500 years after Ragnorok in a world that derives from Norse myth.

I've read dozens of books of myth and folktale over the years, as well as books that draw inspiration from the originals, and Harris's creation is fresh and satisfying.

Mels Ht
I have mixed feelings about this book. I guess I'll start with the positive things about it. First off, it's well-written, the Norse mythology is accurate and it has quite an imaginative adventure.


There were so many things happening all at once that I failed to get a firm grip on the story and digest it thoroughly. It felt like too much information for a single book- it could have easily been two books. Therefore, I did not feel I got to know the characters and process the story in a deep
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine that Ragnarok happened, Asgard fell, and in the aftermath the survivors stumbled blindly forward to build a new world on the ashes of the old. Imagine, also, that the ancient runes have power for those that are born marked with them. Five hundred years after the end, much of the world is dominated by the Order, which has done its best to eradicate rune-magic and magical creatures of all kinds - with a thoroughness comparable to the Inquisition at its worst. But on the far side of the mou ...more
Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : Runemarks (Runemarks, #1) - Nevisande : Joanne Harris - ISBN : 385611307 - ISBN13 : 9780385611305 - Dar 528 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2007
Rachel  Of Questionable Luck
AWESOME! I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK, DO YOU HEAR ME? AWESOME! "Runemarks" is based on Norse Mythology, and the witty and surprisingly colorful cast of characters includes many Norse Gods (including Loki the Trickster, Odin the All-Father, and Thor the Thunderer), several hilarious goblins (my favorite of which was named Sugar-&-Sacke), and quite a few persnickety, clever, and downright serendipitous humans (including Nat Parson, his wife Ethelberta who is not all she seems, and the uptight ...more
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
supermooie cover en leuk verhaal (een dosis Loki kan nooit kwaad ;-))
Joseph Leskey
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ANBODY; else the balance between Chaos and Order will fail
Recommended to Joseph by: Abigail H. Leskey
Review of second read-through of Runemarks:
Now this book is so complicated, that first off, you may wish to know that this will be a rather complicated review (actually, this is probably false; it could be a very boring and rushed review). Sometimes, I overreact to complications, therefore, this review may unintentionally be a manifestation of Chaos (nearly definitely). Secondly, I liked it [the book [Runemarks]]
Opinião do blogue Chaise Longue:

Nos primeiros dez anos da sua vida, Joanne refugiou-se na leitura, nos dez anos seguintes escreveu histórias a imitar as dos seus autores preferidos e depois, finalmente, começou a escrever as suas próprias histórias mas houve uma história, escrita durante os seus dezanove anos que a autora acabou por recuperar, uma história inspirada pelo seu amor à mitologia nórdica, originalmente chamada Witchlight e que foi recusada pel
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recensioni
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joanne Harris... well, it was a love at first word with her and has been so ever since. I have NEVER read a book by her and felt disappointment, regret or mixed feelings. She is a unique human being that has been blessed with the magic of writing and brings joy to the world with ther storytelling.

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 m
This was a pretty good book. Not amazing, but not half bad either--the kind of rollicking adventure, with themes of self-esteem and rebellion against intolerant, controlling leadership, that seems to have taken the world of young adult literature by storm. I had already fallen in love with the subtle overtones of fairy-tale in 'Chocolat,' so when I discovered this, Joanne Harris' first excursion into YA fantasy lit, I picked it up and devoured it eagerly.

To say that I was disappointed with the
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, juvenile
We're all familiar with the author who lives in denial of their genre writing ("It doesn't have spaceships in, so it can't be science fiction!"). Joanne Harris is somewhat the opposite; for years she's been slyly slipping fantastic elements into her otherwise resolutely mainstream fiction and getting away with it. Here she goes for all-out fantasy, and it's a sad reflection on the publishing world today that in order to do so she's had to have it marketed as YA. This is a lovely book: a joyous, ...more
Stephanie - Adventures Thru Wonderland
So, so, so good! I have always been big on Norse mythology, but have never really read many books about it. When I found this series, I couldn't wait to get started. I was hesitant at first, since my library only had it on audiobook, but now I'm SO glad it ended up that way! This is the first audiobook I finished, and it was much better than the first one I tried! I loved the narrator's voice, and she did an amazing job with the characters and I could easily picture the character's faces based o ...more
Reread this really quickly to refresh my memory on the plot before I read Runelight. Still enjoyable, although it's kinda lacking in Joanne Harris' usual precise plotting -- this time through, I felt like she made it a bit too convoluted, a bit too... I don't know. I wasn't so impressed by the plotting in The Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsieur le Curé, likewise with this on a second read.

Still fun, though, like I said, and even if you know your Norse myth and think you know how it's going t
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opinião em breve
Taylor Dodge
This felt like such a long book...And maybe it isn't the book's fault. Maybe my reading A Conjuring of Light at the same time and being fully immersed in that story didn't leave enough room for this one.
Fangs for the Fantasy
I almost didn't read this book to be honest, the cover and the synopsis on the back did little to recommend it. Had it not been for the comments on Goodreads, which gave a greater detail of the story, I never would have read this book. If I were Harris, I would have been enraged at the person who wrote the synopsis because it gave no hint of the great story inside. Prepare yourself for some serious fanpoodling, you have been warned.

From the moment of her birth Maddy Smith had always been an outs
-- Originally reviewed at Here There Be Books. --

I've gotten more and more fond of books with Norse mythology in them, probably because I took a really good medieval history class last semester that covered quite a bit of Viking history, which naturally made me more interested in everything to do with Viking and so on. One thing I've noticed about these books, though, is that the protagonists tend to be all boys, and I prefer to read books about girls (because I am one, and, by the way, there ar
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Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Addition of number of pages 17 85 Feb 14, 2013 10:21AM  
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Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre pr ...more

Other books in the series

Runemarks (2 books)
  • Runelight (Runemarks, #2)
“A thing named is a thing tamed.” 73 likes
“In any case, fire burns; that's its nature, and you can't expect to change that. You can use it to cook your meat or to burn down your neighbor's house. And is the fire you use for cooking any different from the one you use for burning? And does that mean you should eat your supper raw?"

Maddy shook her head, still puzzled. "So what you're saying is . . . I shouldn't play with fire," she said at last.

Of course you should," said One-Eye gently. "But don't be surprised if the fire plays back.”
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