Runemarks by Joanne M. Harris

Huge thanks go to NetGalley and to the publisher, Orion Publishing Group, for granting me access to a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Some time ago, I read The Gospel According to Loki, a look at the legends of the Norse gods as told from the point of view of the Trickster, Loki. This was my first introduction to Joanne Harris's writing and to some of the tales of those deities. I had considered buying Runemarks afterwards, but never got around to it. However, when the chance to read a review copy of a re-release of it, I grabbed the chance and thought "why the Hel not?!"

Runemarks follows the story of Maddy smith, a girl who, whether she likes it or not, seems to get blamed for everything. This is because of a strange mark on her hand that looks remarkably like the signs a Fiery might have. Together with her mysterious friend One-Eye, she learns the mysteries of the runes and about various spells they can be used for.

Sent on a quest to find the Whisperer, Maddy uncovers a lot more than she bargained for, including Loki, the Sleepers and the dangerous Order who want to destroy all signs of magic and gods, all to earn the respect of the Nameless...

This book was a bit slow at first and took me longer than expected to get into it. However, it built up to an epic crescendo which kept my eyes glued to the pages as I read and read. The characters are as you would expect from the Norse gods, but still Harris has managed to add a few really unexpected twists to this post-Ragnarok tale. It flows like a Dream, and I cannot fault it apart from the beginning. Loved it!

Star rating: 5 from 5