Runemarks – falling in love with Norse Mythology

One of the biggest truths about life is that many little things make you fall in love. Literature was one of my first big loves, it helped me discover a thirst within me to find out more. It was also through literature that I started letting my mind wander to places far away from home, so here started my passion for travel. Finally, when studying history I started falling in love with mythology, from Greek, Roman, Norse etc. So many epic stories that form the basis for stories today, it is all one big intertwined world and literature has made me realise just how much it is. So Joanne Harris has brought three things together for me!

Runemarks follows the story of Maddy Smith – later called Modi – who discovers after a series of events that she is the estranged daughter of the lost God, Thor. The end of the world seems to be approaching – as it always is in these types of stories – and she needs to find a way to save the Gods, wake them from their slumber and rescue the world. With the help of her entrusted yet suspicious uncle Loki and her good friend One-eyed who taught her everything he could about magic and her godly abilities.

Joanne Harris brings together the old Norse stories with a beautiful world and prose that carries the myths so well. The award winning author had yet to tap into this style of writing and she did it effortlessly. I think adding the narrative that magic had been something that had been encountered before and was now being ignored due to fear allowed Harris to introduce the power of the gods quite effectively. The novel is both refreshing as it is coated in olden airs, a story that is so ancient and known but was told in a new way.

Norse mythology is one that I am not hugely familiar with, I am far more versed in Greek and Roman and other smaller mythologies, but it is truly phenomenal and fascinating. Harris introduces the subject and belief smoothly enabling us all to understand and feel like this world is not so detached from our own. For the avid fantasy reader and the traveller I really do recommend this novel. Written by an award winning and established author, it is a pleasure to be welcomed into the Norse world by her brilliant writing skill and wit. Enjoy this novel.

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