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Runemarks (2007)

por Joanne Harris

Séries: Runemarks (1)

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1,2825615,070 (3.45)45
Maddy Smith, who bears the mysterious mark of a rune on her hand, learns that she is destined to join the gods of Norse mythology and play a role in the fate of the world.
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For most readers Harris should be familiar because of her novel Chocolat, made into a moving starring the yummy Johnny Depp. I admit that part of the reason I picked up Runemarks was half because it was an interesting sounding fantasy based around Norse Mythology and half because it was written by the author of a movie I love. I'm a little shallow at times, I admit this. In the end however the fact that this is an enchanting and enthralling fantasy is what kept me glued to the pages.

Before you even begin the story itself there are half a dozen pages to give you a detail accounting of the world, the people and the geography. It helps if you are versed in Norse mythology as well, this is a story about what happens after Ragnarok (ie: the end of the world and the rebirth of that world). The world that is born is one afraid of magic and imagination, deeply religious and prejudiced against anyone who has a 'Ruin-mark'. Our heroine, Maddy, has one such 'ruin-mark' and its brought her nothing but grief and trouble for as long as she can remember.

Through Maddy and her journey Below we see the folly of humans and Gods alike, how both can be blind to the bigger picture, but can still redeem themselves in the end. From different perspectives we hear how the world ended and how it was reborn and what truly caused the calamity. We meet with well known Norse deities--Odin, Freyja, Loki--and magical beings such as trolls and goblins. The novel itself is splintered into several 'parts' as Maddy's journey goes along.

This novel reminded me very much of the old time 'epic' stories such as The Odyssey and The Neverending Story. Maddy fought monsters and Gods and humans and magical beings--all for the importance of a greater quest then she herself understood at first. Fate is at stake in this book and the question becomes who's Fate exactly? I recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing interest in Norse mythology or wants to read a tale full of spirit, adventure and a little bit of a morality tale sprinkled throughout. ( )
  lexilewords | Dec 28, 2023 |


This is a story of Loki and Odin, old gods and magic, folk and the nameless.

Maddy, 14 years old and always considered by her small community as being *different*, becomes friends with One-Eye. He teaches her small pieces of magic, but one day she gets pulled into a much wider world, where the old gods prove to be real and she finds out why she feels the way she does.

Forget that this is a Joanne Harris book - if you're expecting another Chocolat, you will be sorely disappointed. Read it for what it is though - a fantasy book by a decent author - and it can help.

I enjoyed reading it. There is the odd bit of humour, the gods are very human like on occasion - pettiness and base human emotions included. In two minds about the Folk, and think they were a little two dimensional, but then again, they were mainly secondary characters. ( )
  nordie | Oct 14, 2023 |
As a fan of Norse Mythology, I had to pick this up, and I could not help but love it. While some things are fairly obvious if you know your mythology, it is still an interesting and exciting adventure, full of interesting characters, magic and gods. ( )
  upontheforemostship | Feb 22, 2023 |
Maddy Smith has a rune on her arm – a mark that makes her suspicious to the ordered world around her – mark of magic and of chaos, mark of intelligence and dream. She falls into an adventure with figures that bear a strange resemblance to the elder Norse gods, though Ragnarok is long past and the new world has no place for them. Humourous and exciting, I couldn’t put it down. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
I wondered what this author's children's fiction would be like, and was surprised to discover it was my introduction to Norse mythology. I was familiar with some of it from The Sandman, but this story provided more of Odin, Loki, Skadi, Hel, and many more characters. I was reminded of Tolkein's Middle-Earth as I began to read this, but the plot was much better paced, I guess because it was written for children; for example a quest is set in chapter 5 to find nine runes, a few pages later, even before the next chapter, they had all been found. I found this refreshing and unexpected. ( )
  AChild | May 19, 2021 |
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Maddy Smith, who bears the mysterious mark of a rune on her hand, learns that she is destined to join the gods of Norse mythology and play a role in the fate of the world.

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