Joanne Harris (MBE) was born in Barnsley in 1964, of a French mother and an English father. She studied Modern and Mediaeval Languages at Cambridge and was a teacher for fifteen years, during which time she published three novels, including Chocolat (1999), which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.
Since then, she has written 15 more novels, two collections of short stories, a Dr Who novella, guest episodes for the game Zombies, Run and three cookbooks. Her books are now published in over 50 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, has honorary doctorates in literature from the universities of Sheffield and Huddersfield, and has been a judge for the Whitbread Prize, the Orange Prize, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science.
Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as: “mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion of the system”, although she also enjoys obfuscation, sleaze, rebellion, witchcraft, armed robbery, tea and biscuits. She is not above bribery and would not necessarily refuse an offer involving exotic travel or pink champagne. She works from a shed in her garden, plays bass in the band she first joined when she was 16, is currently writing a screenplay and lives with her husband and daughter in a little wood in Yorkshire.
I think the first think that should jump out about this book is that this is not its first foray into the world, if you check the bibliography below you can see it was first released in 2007, yet in 9 short years its getting a major re-release. That should really jump out and demand your attention, not all books get a reprint, let alone a total facelift and re-release.
I have to admit i missed this book first time around, but having read the wonderful Gospel of Loki i had to be involved in the blog tour and read it…… and so to help you do the same join the Blog tour and read more of the extract each day….
In the days when the Worlds were young, the Middle Worlds were nothing but ice. Nothing lived there: nothing grew. Nothing disturbed the Order of things. But in World Below, Chaos reigned. Great volcanoes erupted below the surface of the frozen ground; great rivers of lava, like giant snakes, punched through the bedrock of the Worlds. And in the meeting of Fire and Ice, emerged a race of beings who, like gods, shaped the Worlds and ruled them, bearing the weapons of Chaos and wielding its forbidden runes. These ancient, all but immortal beings were the Æsir and the Vanir. Born from war and destruction, for centuries they lived and reigned supreme across the Nine Worlds, and, at the peak of their powers, were finally brought low and destroyed in a series of cataclysmic events, which the ancients called Ragnarók, and which we call Tribulation. Nowadays, their names are known only to the eminent few. The power of their runes is lost to all but members of the scholarly elite. Even their stories are banned; for a tale can travel across the Nine Worlds, even unto the Kingdom of Death, and gods are like weeds; you pull one up to find that a dozen have re-grown. Through stories and dreams, their names will go on: through stories and dreams, their power endures. This is why the Order exists – the Order of Learned Historians, sole custodians of the past and guardians of the future. Now, long after Tribulation, Order has returned to the Worlds. But mankind must still remain vigilant. Runes are
like dandelion seeds that grow wherever they find untended ground. Through them, the Fire of Chaos burns on, and can never be quite extinguished. And the Prophecy of the Oracle, the last and most secret of documents collected by the Order of Learned Historians in what is now known as the Good Book, tells of a battle yet to come, a final, titanic battle between the forces of Order and Chaos, in which the gods and their enemies will once more meet each other face-to-face. Some claim this has already happened. Some claim it has happened many times. Some claim it is still happening.
RUNEMARKS by Joanne M Harris is being re-issued in hardback by Gollancz on 24th November
Please Join Kate for Day 2 of the blog tour and the next part of this wonderful extract
1. Chocolat (1999)
2. The Lollipop Shoes (2007)
aka The Girl with No Shadow
3. Peaches for Monsieur le Cure (2012)
aka Peaches for Father Francis
1. Runemarks (2007)
2. Runelight (2011)
Sleep, Pale Sister (1994)
Blackberry Wine (2000)
Five Quarters of the Orange (2001)
The Coastliners (2002)
Holy Fools (2003)
Gentlemen and Players (2005)
The Gospel of Loki (2014)
Different Class (2016)
Because I’m a Girl (2010) (with Tim Butcher, Kathy Lette, Henning Mankell, Deborah Moggach, Marie Phillips, Irvine Welsh and Xiaolu Guo)
Any Girl Can Be a CandyKiss Girl! / Tea with the Birds / The G-SUS Gene (2011)
Auto-da-fe / Free Spirit / Fule’s Gold (2011)
Class of ’81 / Come in, Mr Lowry, Your Number Is Up!(2011)
Eau de Toilette / Fish / Never Give a Sucker… (2011)
Faith and Hope Go Shopping / Hello, Goodbye (2011)
Gastronomicon / The Ugly Sister (2011)
Last Train to Dogtown / The Little Mermaid (2011)
A Place in the Sun / Al and Christine’s World of Leather / The Spectator (2011)
A Cat, a Hat, and a Piece of String (2012)
Four For Fantasy (2013) (with Brian Aldiss, Joe Hill and Richard Christian Matheson)
Waiting for Gandalf (2011)
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller (2014)
Doctor Who: Time Trips: The Collection (2015) (with Cecelia Ahern, Jake Arnott, Trudi Canavan, Jenny Colgan, Stella Duffy, Nick Harkaway and A L Kennedy)
My French Kitchen (2003) (with Fran Warde)
The French Market (2005) (with Fran Warde)
The Little Book of Chocolat (2014) (with Fran Warde)