SFGate.com reviewed Runemarks, a new urban fantasy for 9-12 year olds, from Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat and The Lollipop Shoes (US title The Girl With No Shadow). Here’s a taste of what the reviewer had to say:
Born with what the villagers of Mabry call a “ruinmark” on her palm, motherless Maddy Smith has always felt like an outcast. Her neighbors suspect she is a witch. In fact, 14-year-old Maddy knows enough about spell casting to be of some use in keeping goblins from creating too much mischief in the local cellars.
Harris said her idea for Runemarks has been around for quite awhile.
Runemarks goes back a long, long way. My first full-length try at a novel was a sprawling 1000-page monster (with illustrations) called Witchlight, written when I was nineteen and rejected by every publisher I sent it to on account of its length, its complexity and the darkness of its imagery.
In many ways, Witchlight was the prototype of Runemarks. It was set in the same place, the valley of the Strond. Its heroine was also called Maddy, she had a sister called Mae, a goblin friend (whose name, like that of Sugar-and-Sack, was taken from accounts of the Pendle witch trials) and most of the action went on in World Below – but Runemarks goes back even longer than that.
Runemarks was released by Knopf Books for Young Readers on January 8, 2008.