Wednesday 9 November 2011

Runelight by Joanne Harris

Pages - 572
Published by Doubleday, an imprint of Random House Children's Books in 2011

Five past midnight in World's End, three years after the End of the World, and, as usual, there was noting ot be seen or heard in the catacombs of the Universal City - except, of course, for the rats and (if you believed in them) the ghosts of the dead. 
Maggie Rede had no fear of either.

Goodreads Summary
The squabbling Norse gods and goddesses of Runemarks are back! And there's a feisty new heroine on the scene: Maggie, a girl the same age as Maddy but brought up a world apart - literally, in World's End, the focus of the Order in which Maddy was raised. Now the Order is destroyed, Chaos is filling the vacuum left behind... and is breaching the everyday world.A chilling prophecy from the Oracle. A conflict between two girls. And with just twelve days to stave off the Apocalypse, carnage is about to be unleashed . . .

You know from my review yesterday that I enjoyed the first book in this series, Runemarks,  but this one really blew me away. I LOVED Runelight. This book totally absorbed me like a Venus fly trap, then spat me out at the end after  controlling my mind for the whole journey. After reading it, I couldn't help but feel that with Runemarks, the author was testing the waters, but with Runelight she swam the Channel - unaided!

 We find ourselves returning to World's End, which has basically taken a nose dive in the 'most beautiful places to live' guide. No one seems to be able to forget the events that occurred at the end of Runemarks and the clearing up operations seems to still be going on.

It was lovely to be reacquainted with some friendly old faces and it was interesting to see how they had developed in the three years since the previous events. Many alliances and friendships were in need of rebuilding, which resulted in a group of argumentative and nit picking Norse Gods, who were still having issues with past misdemeanours . The humour in this book really has gone up a notch and it really reminded me of the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett, where humour is carefully hidden within the high drama. 

Just to show you what I mean, here is a scene that could have come straight out of  a comedy.
'So protecting me was just a ruse to ensure I survived to cement your deal.' Loki appealed to the party of gods. 'You're really going along with this? You're going to watch them sacrifice me? Sif, we've had our  differences, but...'
The goddess of grace and plenty smiled. 'You bet I'm going to watch,' she said. ' I only wish we had popcorn.'
Fabulous! Now imagine 572 pages with humour like this.

I absolutely adored Loki! He is like the Derek Trotter of the Nine Worlds, wheeling and dealing his way out of every death threat he can.  My favourite scenes in the book revolved around the freak show they labelled a circus.  In order for the gods to travel unnoticed, he creates a travelling show that will be noticed but won't be believed.  Always fond of the weird and wonderful, I couldn't help but become attached to  Jormundgand, the World Serpent, who could only think with his stomach. 

Some interesting new characters join the cast of many and some of the secondary characters from the previous book step forward to take their moments in the spot light. I found it much easier to keep track of all the characters in this book which I believe is due to the detailed descriptions provided by the author.

The book goes from strength to strength, finishing with an epic battle where the End of the World is at stake. Again.  An apocalyptic  climax, via a kaleidoscope of varying powers. Asgard - well I am lost for words as to describe how beautiful and wonderful it sounds. You will just have to read it and sigh in wonder with me. 

Joanne Harris is one of the most versatile authors I have ever come across. With each book she writes, it is like hopping on a magical mystery tour, where you never know where you will end up. She has such a uniqueness to her writing voice, that each book is like a surprise gift.  This author cannot be labelled or categorised to fit into one genre. She has the ability to take any subject or genre and make it her own, marking it with her individuality. 

This is a tale of epic proportion that will bring to life the Norse myths which so often get over overlooked. 


  1. You've definitely sold me on this series this week :) Another great review!

  2. Another two to be added to my Wish List, thanks Vivienne.

  3. Remind me in February to add these to the Myth & Folklore presentation :D Thank you <3

  4. When I first heard of book 1 I thought is it really her? So cool that she writes ya too

  5. this sounds great. Adding to wish list x

  6. I picked up Runemarks because of you and this one sounds like another I'm going to have to have as well. I can't very well have the first book without the second, can I? Lol.


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