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 has always been an outsider. In a world ruled by the harsh and puritanical Order, she is shunned for the strange birthmark on her left hand. For this is no ordinary birthmark – it is a runemark, a sign of the old gods.
In fact, Maddy can do things that no-one else can, things that could be called magic. But not until she meets the old traveller One-Eye, an outsider like herself, does she learn what power she really has, and what she will be asked to do with it.
In Runemarks, Joanne Harris creates a world not unlike our own - if it had been shaped by the Vikings instead of the Romans - and colours it with her familiar blend of rich imagery and gritty realism. A disenchanted world, where the gods died long ago. Can Maddy bring them back to life?
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Loved Runemarks...a core fantasy much like the stories of David Eddings or Terry Brooks, with a cool twist on Norse mythology - Stephenie Meyer
An inventive, moving and witty novel that is hard to put down - TES
If the likes of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights had you bewitched, then Runemarks is certainly worth a read. - Heat Magazine
Joanne Harris, best known as the author of Chocolat, is good at beginnings and pay-offs: each of the chapters in this nine-part fantasy epic has a punchy finish that makes you want to read on...Especially enjoyable are Harris's aphorisms, her satire of joyless piety, and the comically irreverent vernacular spoken by a dissolute goblin and the trickster god Loki - The Sunday Times
She is so terrific, she can write about anywhere, anything, anyone. - Daily Telegraph
A fascinating book. - SFX
Her dramatic story rollocks along for 536 pages with magical transformations, nets of blue fire and a spunky heroine - Amanda Craig - The Times
Rich, comic, dark and brilliantly conceived . . .Part of the skill Joanne Harris brings to her writing is her evocative descriptions. These are never gratuitous for they all add to the necessary unfolding of both character and plot - John Cohen - Reading Time
A fantastic romp through the world of ancient magic. - INIS
Runemarks is a hugely enjoyable addition to the canon of modern fantasy. I was gripped from start to finish by the wry humour, pacy and imaginative plot as well as its satisfying ending - www.writeaway.org.uk
Runemarks ...is a wonderful addition to the rich past of the Norse gods, taking the stories of the Elder Age and answering the questions 'What if the world didn't end like it was supposed to?' 'What if the prophecies were wrong?' Featuring Runic magic, goblins, Faërie legends, Underworld wars, hidden Oracles, doomsday prophecies and shapeshifting gods, Maddy's adventures take readers into the heart of Norse mythology and the fates of the gods. Whether you're an avid fan of Norse mythology or not, you won't want to miss Maddy's action-packed adventure and her discovery of a place where she can finally belong. - Teenreads.com
This is Joanne Harris' first foray into teen fantasy fiction and it is mind-blowing. She certainly doesn't tone it down for her youthful readership...if you like fantasy that stretches the mind, this one is for you. Four out of five stars. - Flipside
...the author of Chocolat has produced a cracker...top marks for Runemarks. Five out if five stars. - Birmingham Sunday Mercury
Joanne Harris deploys a big cast in relentless action across a cosmic panorama. This is a mighty feat of storytelling, and a fascinating re-envisionement of Norse mythology. - Books for Keeps
Joanne Harris is the author of the Whitbread-shortlisted Chocolat (made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp) and seven other bestselling novels. Her hobbies are listed in Who's Who as 'mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion'. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16, is currently studying Old Norse, and lives with her husband and daughter in Yorkshire, about 15 miles from the place she was born.