Ever since the runaway success of Chocolat, any new novel by Joanne Harris is always eagerly awaited, and she does not disappoint.
Runelight is very different from the author’s novels set in France – (Chocolat, The Lollipop Shoes, Coastliners et al). It is a follow-on from Runemarks and set in Inland, one of the nine worlds and kingdoms of the gods of Norse mythology. Its considerable length gives the reader an opportunity to appreciate Harris’s vivid and wide ranging imagination, matched with skilled writing and humour.
Despite a list of characters and illustrations of the runemarks, which form an important part of the story – Maggie, its heroine has one which endows her with special powers – the unfolding of the plots is complex and sometimes confusing.
There are gods and goddesses, including Thor, Odin and Frejya, demons, goblins and ghosts. We are in a world of bitter rivalries, and the encounters of the two girls, Maggie and Maddy, are closely involved with clashes of personalities and supernatural powers, their defeats and victories.
As fantasy novels go, this one is fantastic!
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