It's been five hundred years since the end of the world and society has rebuilt itself anew. The old Norse gods are no longer revered. Their tales have been banned. Magic is outlawed, and a new religion - the Order - has taken its place.
In a remote valley in the north, fourteen-year-old Maddy Smith is shunned for the ruinmark on her hand - a sign associated with the Bad Ol...more
Maddy's o ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
YABC May 2008
-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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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.
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 ...more
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]] ...more
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 ...more
To say that I was disappointed with the ...more
Still fun, though, like I said, and even if you know your Norse myth and think you know how it's going t ...more
From the moment of her birth Maddy Smith had always been an outs ...more
Within in this book, you need to tread carefully and keep your eyes o ...more
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 ...more
Maddy Smith has always been different. She was born with a runemark (sometimes called a "ruinmark"), and the only person who understands her is a wanderer nicknamed "One-Eye." One-Eye teaches her old myths and legends about the gods and shows her how to use her runemark to cast cantrips.
Then one day One-Eye leads her to a hill where there are ...more
Let me start off this review by saying I'm a huge fan of all kinds of mythology from all over the world and with all the YA mythology books these days being about Greek mythology I wanted to try something different. But I've got to admit that right from the start the writing was dull and I knew this book and I weren't really going to get on. Seriously though there i ...more
The one thing that really bothers me about this book is that it was marketed as a children's book, for the bad old reason that it's about a kid. Other than that fact, it is not a kids' book. It's too heavy for people who are expecting a Harry-Potter story. Not that Harry Pot ...more
Other books in the series
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.”