Series review: Runemarks by Joanne Harris (Age 15+)
Runemarks (Book I)
The major fantasy debut from bestselling author Joanne Harris, now in paperback.
Seven o'clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the end of the world, and goblins have been at the cellar again. Not that anyone would admit it was goblins. In Maddy Smith's world, order rules. Chaos, old gods, faeries, magic-all of these were supposedly vanquished centuries ago. But Maddy knows that a small bit of magic has survived. The "ruinmark" she was born with on her palm proves it-and makes the other villagers fearful and suspicious that she is a witch.
But the mysterious traveler One-Eye sees Maddy's mark not as a defect, but a destiny. And Maddy will need every scrap that One-Eye can teach her about runes, cantrips, and glamours-every ounce of magic she can command-if she is to survive that destiny.
Available on Amazon.com: Runemarks
The old world of the Norse Gods comes alive once more in this fantastic tale set in a different world where Ragnarok (the-end-of-all-things) has occurred but not in the destruction of the world, just the old religion being conquered and forgotten about by a new religion known simply as 'The Word'. Yet amongst the populace is young Maddie who has a most unusual mark on her hand, known as Ruinmark and because of that a lot of people think she is a witch. Yet through the very solitary style of her life she finds a friend in an old man who passes through the village and arouses her curiousity about Horse Hill, an ancient and superstitious site nearby. This is where the adventure begins and where the Old Gods come awake once more.
Runelight (Book II)
Runelight is the second book of what (with luck) may turn out to be the Runemarks series, a fantasy set in a world that bears some similarity to our own, assuming our civilization had been shaped, not by the Romans, but by the Viking invaders instead.
Available on Amazon.com: Runelight
Runelight by Joanne Harris (Sequel to Runemarks)
Joanne Harris has utterly upped her game since writing the wonderful Runemarks. Runelight is bigger, better and more magical than ever. There are the old favourite characters of Loki and Thor and to this mix she adds new characters of the three famous wolves Fenris, Skoll and Hati and even Odin's (One-Eye) ravens Hugnin and Munin but each with their own quirky names and personalities.
What make's it extra special is the massive trail of secrets that is woven throughout all the events and adventures the reader follows and its all woven beautifully amongst ancient nursery rhymes. Of course it's revovling around Chaos once again trying to rub out Order from the world in a variety of jaw dropping ways. Although the more the reader reads the more it will make them think that the forces of Order and Chaos are quite similar despite their differences.
It is a refreshing and invigorating read and it inpsiring to see these great characters of old, flaws and all as none of these gods are perfect, reimagined into new adventures that can't help but captivate and capture the hearts and minds of a new generation. I think all the skalds of old will claim Joanne is blessed by Odin for her story telling abilities. I get shivers just thinking about what might possibly happen next in the sequel to this, that already overshadows Runemarks in more ways than one!
Want to adventure throught the lands of the Vikings? The height of the Vikings is an amazing period of time and there is a lot of great fiction that is based on historical facts from that period and place. Rebecca Wilson has written a guide to the genre and to some of the best works in the genre.
If you are fascinated by the subject of Vikings you should check out her blog at: http://www.soulchaserbecky.blogspot.com/
You can follow her on Twitter @soulchaserbecky.
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