September 25th, 2010

Runemarks by Joanne Harris

The Blurb On The Back:

Maddy touched the final rune.
She spoke the cantrip.
The Hill opened ...

Maddy Smith has always been an outsider. Born with a rusty-coloured rune on her hand – what the villagers call a ruinmark – she is scarred by this symbol of the old gods, a sign of magic.

And everyone knows that magic is dangerous. Except for Maddy who actually thinks it’s rather fun. Until now. For suddenly her friend One-Eye, a rascally Outlander, wants her to open Red Horse Hill and descend into World Below – a world filled with goblins and far worse – to retrieve a relic of the old gods ...

Full of trickery, magic and the enchantment of the Norse myths, Runemarks is an epic fantasy adventure – richly inventive and superbly imaginative.

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The Verdict:

I bought this thinking it was another cynical attempt by a successful adult author to cash in on the YA market with a substandard story. How wrong I was. I loved this book. It’s a brilliant fantasy read, peppered with Norse mythology, a solid quest story and a central character who’s resourceful, clever and desperate to find out who she really is. My only criticism is that there isn’t a sequel so that I can read more about this fabulous world and the people within it.