Having just finished Joanne Harris’ novel Chocolat
, a book that infuses magic in a modern everyday setting, I found it quite interesting to see her incorporate magic in a fantasy for young adults. Her characters in Runemarks
are not new, as they’re the gods of Norse mythology—Thor and his hammer, Loki the trickster, Odin One-Eye, and Maddy aka Modi. I particularly enjoyed her characterization of these gods. They’re human and real, though at times a bit dramatic when they confront their problems. But this is OK, as it adds humor to the story and increases its appeal.
The story takes place about 500 years after Ragnarók. Magic’s been banned, the old stories of the gods forbidden to be told, and a new Order has taken control. One day, One-Eye comes across a young girl named Maddy who carries a runemark on her palm. Little does Maddy know that One-Eye will introduce her to a world long thought to be destroyed and forgotten and that she holds an important position with the past as well as the future.
I loved the supporting cast. Harris does an interesting interpretation of Loki, the trickster that’s certainly fun to read. He’s still up to his old antics, yet he’s got charisma and is ultimately a sympathetic character. Sugar and Sack the goblin is also rather cute. All in all a good read and I’m glad that Harris has plans to write a sequel. I’d like to know what the future has in store for these characters, as it was an entertaining world to read about.