Monday, June 15, 2009

Runemarks, by Joanne Harris

Maddy Smith is a fourteen year old girl who lives in the village of Malbry in the Strond Valley. She was born with a strange runemark on her palm, a mark which is considered magic in the village, and dangerous. Her mother died giving birth to her, her father can't look at her, and her sister is a beautiful ditz. The other villagers dislike her, and she's constantly teased by other children her age. Maddy seems to have no friends, except for a traveler named One-Eye. Maddy likes to work the magic that was given to her, and One-Eye teaches her all about how to cast runes and the old stories about the fallen gods.
On One-Eye's annual visit, he tells Maddy that he wants her to descend into Red Horse Hill, a fortress of goblins and who-knows-what other vermin, to retrieve an artifact of the old gods: the Whisperer.
Harris creates a beautiful and terrible world with her descriptive writing and intricate characters. Runemarks is filled with clever plots and enthralling adventures, as well as powerful and greedy villians that the reader just wants to reach out and slap in the face. I absolutely loved this book, and I had alot of trouble putting it down. I give Runemarks 5 of 5 stars.

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