Runemarks by Joanne Harris

runemarksReviewed by Kristen Leong (Note: Kristen is one of our young adult reviewers).

Maddy Smith is a misfit in a community, nay, a world where imagination, magic, and dreaming are heavily discouraged and dangerous to have. What sets her apart from the crowd? Well it might have something to do with that funny little runemark on her hand. That remnant of the old days, from the days before the End of the World, marks Maddy as the black sheep of the tiny mountain village in the Middle World. Her only friend is not from the village, but is a traveling, one-eyed vagabond. He visits once a year for a short period of two to three months before setting off on his sojourn to World’s End. Every time he visits, Maddy gets the chance to learn something new about the rune that graces the palm or her hand and of the old world where the gods and goddesses ruled. This year, however, her friend is late and Maddy has cause for worry.

Maddy is about to embark on a life-changing experience through the worlds to discover the truth about who she really is.
Joanne Harris is a wonderful author and saying so does not do her justice. I loved every word of Runemarks because the plot moved quickly (Maddy is thrust into her adventure quite unwillingly at times) and there were enough twists and surprises to keep readers on their toes and trying to guess what happens next. I also liked how the characters seemed so real, so human that I couldn’t help but get drawn into the story even more. I was disappointed to come to the end of the book because I wanted to keep reading more and more about Maddy and her quest.

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